(WBBM Newsradio) — Brutally cold temperatures are taking a toll on blood donations.

“We always have a shortage right after the holidays,” says Eva Quinley, Regional Director of Lifesource. “But this year in particular, the frigid temperatures have kept people inside. We’re finding that there are less and less donors that are coming out to the drives that we’re holding.”

Couple that with a spike in cases of the flu, and Quinley said the problem is getting out of hand.

“We’re at a point where surgeries are having to be cancelled because we don’t have sufficient platelets in the system,” Quinley said. “This is not just for Chicago. It’s for the whole country.”

Quinley said they can usually get help from other blood centers, but many are also struggling. She encouraged anyone that’s feeling okay to brave the cold and donate.

“You really do save lives.”