- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Health and the American Red Cross of New Hampshire and Vermont are encouraging residents to make an appointment to donate blood and platelets in response to what they say is an emergency need for donors.

The head of the New Hampshire and Vermont Red Cross says since the start of the year more than 250 blood drives in 30 states have been canceled due to severe weather resulting in a loss of 10,500 expected donations.

The Red Cross says nationally it has to collect nearly 14,000 blood and platelet donations daily for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen is donating blood Tuesday to bring attention to the need. He says maintaining a steady blood supply is critical.

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