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Blood donors asked to ease critical shortage

The American Red Cross has issued an appeal for blood donors to help ease a “critical” shortage of blood.
All blood types are needed, but especially O negative, which can be used to treat any patient a news release said.
According to the Red Cross, blood donations in May and June were at the lowest levels in 12 years.
Blood drive hours are being extended, and the Red Cross says it is asking eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to recruit more blood donors to help meet the needs of patients nationwide.
According to a news release, the Red Cross Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region provides blood to more than 55 area hospitals and must have 1000+ people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. “There is no substitute for blood, and volunteer donors are the only source,” the release said.
Individuals who are 17 years old, weight 110 pounds or more, depending on height, and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood.  Those who are willing to donate blood are asked to call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.

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