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Red Cross declares emergency need for blood donors

Published 2:25pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency appeal for blood and platelet donors of all blood types, asking all donors to roll up their sleeves and give.

Donors are urgently needed to help boost the blood supply following the Independence Day holiday. The Red Cross received many fewer donations than expected in June and the first week of July.

Those with O negative, B negative and A negative blood types are especially encouraged to give. Platelet donors are critically needed as well. Since platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, a steady stream of platelet donations is needed.

Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

The blood on the shelves is the lifesaver when disaster strikes. Nationwide, the Red Cross experienced an approximately 10 percent decrease in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than hoped. June is among the most challenging months for blood and platelet donations because regular blood donors are adjusting to summer schedules and schools are not in session to host high school and college blood drives, which account for almost 20 percent of donations during the school year.

Mark Beddingfield, chief xecutive officer for Red Cross Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region, described the urgent need for blood donors in a press release.

“We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now,” Beddingfield said. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Each day donations come up short; less blood is available for these patients in need.”

For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required to check-in.

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