Each January, the American Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month, which recognizes the lifesaving contribution blood and platelet donors make. Unfortunately, this year the Red Cross is experiencing a severe winter blood shortage, which they’ve deemed an “emergency.” 
Stafford Rotary Club member, Sue Cook, spoke of this urgency at Jan. 18’s Program Meeting. Generally donations are down this time of year, due to weather, illness and holiday travel. “But this year it’s way bad,” explained Cook. “Two hundred fifty drives were canceled, and we’re 7,500 units short. We are in drastic need of blood,” she continued.
Cook, who is a Red Cross instructor and scheduler for the New York Metro area, said both O and O-negative blood types are in particular need.
According to the American Red Cross, the blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O, and type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. For this reason, it is always in great demand and often in short supply. Type AB-positive plasma (the liquid component of blood that transports blood cells throughout your body) can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply.
Upcoming blood drives in the area include:
Saturday, January 21
First United Methodist Church
8 Church Street
Stafford Springs, CT
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tuesday, January 24
Johnson Memorial Hospital
201 Chestnut Hill Road
Stafford Springs, CT
11:45 a.m. – 4:45 a.m.
Wednesday, January 25
Rockville General Hospital
31 Union Street
Rockville, CT
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, January 26
Somers Congregational Church
599 Main Street
Somers, CT
1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 4
Church of Jesus Christ
2 Maple Street
Ellington, CT
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Visit the American Red Cross online for additional blood drives