The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to make a donation appointment now and help save patient lives.

The Bloodmobile will be at two Botetourt locations Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

The Bloodmobile will be at Bonsack Baptist Church on Cloverdale Road, from 2-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 and at the Carrington Place in Botetourt Commons from 12-4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Those traveling into Roanoke can also donate at the Roanoke Valley Blood Donation Center, 352 Church Ave. SW on January 12 and January 19 from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and on January 16 from 12-6 p.m.

Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed, according to a news release from the Red Cross. Snowstorms and severe weather have also impacted donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected.

“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Bernadette Jay, external communications manager of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”

To schedule an appointment to donate, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.

“In about an hour, you can help save someone’s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being,” said Jay.

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