Donor no-shows sap blood supply

    Blood platelet supplies dipped slightly at area hospitals during the snow storm, but hospital officials say patients are still getting the treatment they need.

    Blood platelet supplies dipped slightly at area hospitals during the snow storm, but hospital officials say patients are still getting the treatment they need.

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    Platelets are one of the components that make up blood; they help control bleeding by sticking to blood vessels.

    The American Red Cross says many blood donors cancelled appointments in recent days because of bad weather. Regional director of recruitment Robert Kessler says supplies are dwindling.

    Kessler: Typically a platelet is used for patients undergoing cancer treatment for organ transplants for surgery, so if we are seeing a fall off in platelet donations, then certainly we want to let the hospitals know that that’s happening.

    At the University of Pennsylvania Health System, one department got 12 doses of platelets in its latest shipment. The hospital normally receives about 32 doses. A spokeswoman said the system has less stock than usual but still plenty on hand.

    The Red Cross hoped to collect about 1,900 units between Saturday and today. Instead, with the snow, only about 100 units got collected over the weekend.

    Kessler says there’s a particular need for donors with type O or B blood.

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