Last updated: July 02. 2014 8:39PM - 192 Views
By Karen Kissiah

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The American Red Cross urges eligible blood donors to roll up a sleeve and give to help prevent a summer blood shortage. Blood donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative are especially needed.

The Red Cross is seeing fewer appointments at its blood donation centers and blood drives this summer than what is needed to ensure blood and platelets continue to be available for patients. During the summer months of June, July and August, on average, about two fewer donors make an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. This can add up to more than 100,000 fewer donations during the summer.

Blood and platelet donations are needed every day for patients with many serious medical conditions. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.

Two blood drives are scheduled for the last week of July in Chesterfield County.

A Red Cross blood drive will be held from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at Zoar United Methodist Church, 2842 Zoar Road in Chesterfield. Another will be held from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, at Chesterfield General Hosptial, S.C. 9, in Cheraw.

The Florence Donation Center, 1555-B West Palmetto St., is open year round with limited hours. It is closed on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years old (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, teaches skills that save lives, provides international humanitarian aid and supports military members and their families.

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