BILLINGS — The American Red Cross extended a call for donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets in a press release Monday afternoon.
The release said that since influenza has been escalating across the country, it's preventing some donors from giving. During the winter months, weather has been threatening to cancel blood drives causing a critical shortage of type O blood, according to the Red Cross.
In Billings, Vitalant, the area's largest blood bank, said it needs at least 150 donors daily to meet the needs of the region.
Experts say donating one unit of blood can save up to three lives.
Erin Baker, the donor recruitment manager at United Blood Services for Montana and Wyoming, said her groups just got out of a month-long urgent call for donors for type O blood and deal with that issue year round.