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Blood and platelet donations needed

The American Red Cross says blood and platelet donations are needed.

Blood donations last 42 days, and platelets just five days. While there isn’t a shortage at this point, Midwest Blood Services spokeswoman Katie Marshall says donations drop around the holidays.

Marshall says donations of certain blood types are especially needed--O negative, O positive, B negative, and A negative.

"O negative is the universal blood type, only seven percent of people have O negative blood. In an emergency situation, an accident victim comes in or a premature baby is born, the hospitals don’t have time to type that blood, they’re going to grab O negative. So it’s a very small portion of the population that has O negative, and it’s really important that we have it on the shelves at all times."

Marshall says the American Red Cross’ goal is to meet local hospital needs first, and then to transport blood donations where they’re needed.

More information on who’s eligible to donate blood, and upcoming blood drives, is available at