Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Officials with the American Red Cross are hoping volunteers will roll up their sleeves and help erase a growing deficit in blood donations.

“Since the beginning of February, the Red Cross has had to cancel about 300 blood drives in 22 different states,” says Dan Fox, communications manager for the Red Cross, “including in Missouri and in Illinois due to inclement weather.”

Fox says that has left them more than 9,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations behind what they were expecting to harvest over the past month.

“That can have an impact on the hospitals we serve,” Fox says. “Right now, the good news is that we haven’t seen a big drop in the number of units going out to hospitals, meaning we are still able to help those hospitals and help those patients.”

But that comes with an addendum, according to Fox, who says winter is not over yet, and another bad storm or other unexpected widespread disaster could put a rush on their dwindling supplies.

As if dealing with one of the worst winters in recent memory wasn’t bad enough, the Red Cross is also being hit with a double whammy.

“The flu season has had an impact on blood donations as well,” Fox explains. “We’ve seen a lot of regular blood donors who would like to come out and give, but unfortunately are unable to because they’re dealing with symptoms of the flu.”

Fox says all blood types are needed, but they’re especially in need of A-negative, B-negative and O-negative.

For a full lost of upcoming area blood drives, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1 (800) RED-CROSS.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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