GREENSBORO, N.C. - The American Red Cross is urging people to donate blood due to a winter blood shortage.

The Red Cross says more than 150 blood drives were canceled due to severe winter weather.

The Red Cross missed out on more than 5,500 donations.

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients," said Clifford Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. "It's the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that's why we're asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today."

In North Carolina, 23 blood drives were canceled, causing nearly 600 donations to go uncollected.

The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations every day for patients at hospitals across the country.

Donated blood is used to help all types of patients, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer, or sickle cell disease.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

You can make an appointment to donate blood and help save a life.