PITSBURGH (KDKA) — The bitter cold, school delays and the height of flu season are creating the perfect storm for a severe reduction of available blood supplies to area hospitals, says the region’s primary blood supplier, Central Blood Bank.

The agency has seen a drop of nearly 30 percent in blood donations since Monday.

Michele Tysarczyk, the executive director of Central Blood Bank, told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “Our donors… they’ve just been cancelling their appointments, and we know they’re rescheduling, but the urgency is now, and it’s been very difficult for us to be able to keep enough blood on the shelves to meet hospital needs.”

It’s not a shortage just yet, and Tysarczyk says Central Blood Bank is not issuing any public appeals, but the concern is growing.

What’s particularly needed are blood platelet donations, specialized blood components for patients undergoing chemotherapy to control blood clotting.

For more information about blood platelet donations and to learn where you can donate, please visit centralbloodbank.org.

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