The Blood Bank of Delmarva issued a call for blood and platelet donors to give blood to help address a winter blood donation shortage.

O negative and platelet blood donations, in particular, are needed.

Severe winter weather with snow storms has had an impact on blood donations. More than 12 blood drives have been canceled in March, causing more than 600 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. Further adding to the low supply was the flu season and higher blood usage at several local hospitals responding to traumas.

O negative is the universal blood type and is used to treat patients during emergencies when their blood type is unknown. Platelets are regularly used to treat patients recovering from cancer and have a shelf life of five days.

Eligible individuals are encouraged to schedule a blood or platelet donation today by visiting donate.bbd.org or calling 888-825-6638. Donors can also walk into any of Blood Bank of Delmarva’s four centers: 100 Hygeia Drive, Newark; 221 S. Saulsbury Road, Dover; 1309 Mt. Hermon Road, Salisbury, Maryland; or 161 Wilmington West Chester Pike, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Individuals who are 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may give blood as often as every 56 days. Donors must provide a photo ID or two other forms of identification, including date of birth.

All types of blood are needed every day to ensure an adequate blood supply.

For more, visit delmarvablood.org.