This week's frigid temperatures put the freeze on blood donations in many areas, and the American Red Cross is asking for blood and platelet donors to help boost winter blood supplies.

Some 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled due to snow and extreme cold, resulting in a nationwide shortfall of nearly 8,400 blood and platelet donations since January 2nd.

Red Cross spokeswoman Jamie Muldrow says the most in-demand blood types – O-positive and negative, A-negative and B-negative – are urgently needed in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.

Same with platelets.

Platelets are very important because they are a key clotting component of blood that is often needed by cancer patients.  And those platelets must be transfused with five days of donation, so donations are always needed,” Muldrow explains.

There are a number of blood donation opportunities in the Midlands this month.

For more information and to make an appointment, you can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or check online at www.redcrossblood.org.