Red Cross asks for blood donations

DOWNEY -- The American Red Cross will be in Downey later this month to collect blood donations. 

Blood and platelet donations have dropped recently due to winter weather and flu season, which is causing people to cancel their donation appointments, officials said. 

So far this year, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives around the country to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Widespread flu has resulted in lower turnout at blood drives. 

The Red Cross will be at St. Raymond’s Catholic Church on Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

To make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org or call (800) RED-CROSS. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. 

People at least 17 years old, in generally good health and weighing at least 110 lbs. are eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors ages 18 or younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements, and have parental consent. 

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.