ST. CLOUD -- The severe winter weather out east has created an urgent need for blood and platelet donations nationally.

Since January 1st more than 300 blood drives across 20 states have resulted in more than 9,500 donations uncollected.

American Red Cross Communication Program Manager Sue Thesenga says blood donations are being delivered to hospitals as quickly as they are coming in.

"With the current cancellation numbers we haven't recovered from that decline and we are doing everything possible to encourage people who can donate to please do so," says Thesenga.

Thesenga says the Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

The winter months typically causes a decline in donations and with the need for more blood and platelet donations several donation centers have extended their hour through Febuary 6th.

"The days we're open we are either open an hour earlier or an hour later to make it easier for people to fit a blood donation into their schedule," says Thesenga.

The St. Cloud Area Blood Donation Center will be open Mondays and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

If you are interested in donating blood you can schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-733-2767 or visit

January is National Blood Donor Month.

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