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Red Cross needs donors

ATLANTA -- The American Red Cross said the record-breaking snowstorm in the Northeast has created an urgent need for platelets.

The organization is asking donors not in areas affected by the weather to donate platelets immediately.

Platelets are the clotting factor in blood and are frequently given to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. They can be donated every two weeks, but only have a five-day shelf life.

Donations can be made at donation centers by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

An official said donors can visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter their ZIP code to find a local blood drive, but would still need to call to schedule an appointment.