The American Red Cross wants to get the word out about blood drives this winter to address a critical shortage.  Blood donations last just 42 days with platelets only five days.  Typically, donations are down during the winter months.  Every day, the Red Cross says it needs to collect nearly 13,000 blood donations for patients who rely on blood to survive.  Donors of all types are needed.  You can visit the Red Cross website to find a blood drive near you.  There are many scattered across the region over the next month.