FARMINGTON, Conn. — The American Red Cross has extended its urgent call for donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets. With influenza escalating across the country and preventing some donors from giving, and winter weather threatening to cancel blood drives, the Red Cross now has a critical shortage of type O blood and urgently needs donors to restock the shelves.

Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood available for patient emergencies and medical treatments. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. While just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type.

Every day, the Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood donations and more than 2,600 platelet donations for patients who rely on blood to survive.

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give now using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Upcoming local blood drives

Feb. 11

Connecticut College Crozier Hall, 270 Mohegan Ave./Route 32 in New London, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 12

UConn Avery Point, 1084 Shennecossett Rd. in Groton, 8:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Feb. 13

Connecticut College Crozier Hall, 270 Mohegan Ave./Route 32 in New London, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Gales Ferry Firehouse, 1772 Route 12 in Gales Ferry, 1 to 6 p.m.

Feb. 14

Harbor School, 432 Montauk Ave. in New London, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 17

Foxwoods Resort and Casino, 350 Trolley Line Blvd. in Mashantucket, 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Feb. 19

Mystic Hilton, 20 Coogan Blvd. in Mystic, 12:45 to 6 p.m.

Feb. 20

Groton City Municipal Building, 295 Meridian Street Extension in Groton, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 21

Niantic Community Church, 170 Pennsylvania Ave. in Niantic, 12:45 to 6 p.m.

Feb. 25

Hugo A. Simonelli VFW Post 3263, 60 Stonington Rd. in Mystic, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 26

Hilton Garden Inn, 224 Gold Star Hwy. in Groton, 1 to 6 p.m.

Feb. 28

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Ave. in New London, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stonington Police, 173 S. Broad St. in Pawcatuck, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Connecticut Media Group