PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – The American Red Cross says it is experiencing a severe blood shortage this season, and is seeking the public’s help.

“This is an emergency situation,” says Regina Boothe Bratton, External Communications Manager for The American Red Cross.

The organization says it had about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed.  Nearly 100 blood drives were cancelled last month due to inclement weather.

“We are at a critical level at the Red Cross,” Bratton says.  “We have a critical need for blood platelets.”

Bratton tells Newsradio 1020 KDKA that blood platelets are needed for cancer patients, babies in intensive care units, and various emergency treatments.

“Blood platelets only have a five-day shelf life,” says Bratton.  “As soon as we get them in and tested, they’re right out the door.”

On it’s website, The American Red Cross says people can donate blood and platelets if they are in “good general health and feeling well,” at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent) and weighing at least 110 lbs.

Potential donors have to have not donated blood in the last 56 days.  They are also asked to bring a list of medications they are taking and an ID to the blood donation location.

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities

Allegheny County:

Pittsburgh- 1/13/2017 9:30 a.m- 3:00 p.m.,  VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, University Drive C

Armstrong County: 

Dayton- 1/9/2017 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.,  American Legion, 134 N Milton Street

Beaver County:

Beaver- 1/4/2017 & 1/9/2017 12 p.m.- 5:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 133 Friendship Circle

Midland- 1/19/2017 10 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., Midland Gymnasium, 901 Midland Avenue

Butler County:

Chicora- 1/6/2017 12:30 p.m.- 6: p.m., Holy Trinity Lutheran church, 2217 Chicora Road, Route 68N

Clarion County:

Clarion- 1/18/2017 1 p.m.- 6:30 p.m., Meisinger Center, 720 Liberty Street

Greene County:

Carmichaels- 1/17/2017 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Carmichaels Fire Hall, Rt 21

Indiana County:

Creekside- 1/13/2017 1:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m., Creekside United Methodist Church, 444 Indiana Rd.

Homer City- 1/10/2017 1:30 p.m.- 7:00 p.m., American Legion Post 493, 79 Mullen Avenue.

Indiana- 1/19/2017 1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Indiana County Red Cross Chapter, 610 Kolter Drive

Indiana 1/16/2017 9:00 a.m. – 7 p.m., Rustic Lodge, 2199 Oakland Avenue

Lawrence County: 

Ellwood City-1/17/2017 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Lincoln High School, 501 Cresent Ave.

New Castle- 1/11/2017 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Highland Presbyterian Church, 708 Highland Avenue

Mercer County: 

Greenville- 1/18/2017 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Howard Miller Student Center, 75 College Ave

Hermitage-1/5/2017 & 1/19/2017  12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 3325 Morefield Rd

Mercer- 1/17/2017 12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mercer Methodist Church, 250 E Butler Street

Sandy Lake- 1/9/2017 1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Sandy Lake Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, 3297 N Main St

Westmoreland County:

Greensburg- 1/9/2017 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Charter Oak United Methodist Church, 449 Frye Farm Rd

Greensburg- 1/11/2017 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Greensburg Blood Donation Center, 351 Harvey Avenue

Greensburg- 1/19/2017 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Westmoreland County Courthouse, Courthouse Square  Main St

Irwin- 1/13/2017 12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., North Huntingdon Town House, 11279 Center Highway

Jeannette- 1/19/2017 12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Ascension Church, 621 Division St

Latrobe- 1/12/2017 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., St. Vincent Parish Grove, 320 Monastery Drive

Latrobe- 1/17/2017 12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., American Legion Post 515, 1811 Ligonier St

Murrysville- 1/12/2017 1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Mother of Sorrows Church, 4202 Old William Penn Highway

Scottdale- 1/11/2017 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., BPO Elks Lodge 777, 151 Pittsburgh Street