(WTOL) - The Red Cross has issued an urgent call as the need for blood donations grows.
January is National Blood Donor Month, something that is more important than ever to remember.
The Red Cross says severe weather took a toll on donations, causing a winter shortage.
About 150 blood donation drives had to be canceled due to frigid temperatures and snow storms.
Busy schedules during the holidays and flu season has also caused donations to go down. The Red Cross was 28,000 donations short in November and December.
There are about 13,000 donations needed to help patients in 26,000 hospitals across the country.
The Red Cross is in special need of platelets as well as Type O-negative and Type B-negative donations. However, all donations are needed and gratefully accepted.
To donate, you must be 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger are also required to meet certain height and weight requirements.