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Red Cross asks blood donors to donate now

THREE BLOOD TYPES AT LESS THAN A DAY’S SUPPLY WILMINGTON -- Two weeks into the new year, the American Red Cross faces a severe shortage of several blood types. Locally, supplies of type O negative, B negative and A negative blood are at less than a day’s supply despite repeated calls to donors to give blood over the past month. The Red Cross is asking blood donors to donate immediately to prevent supply levels from dropping even further in the coming days and weeks. “It is important to note that coming off of a major holiday period, the need for blood never takes a holiday,” says Robert F. Fechner, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. “In addition to the holiday challenges, during the winter, donations drop and the supply of blood often dips to dangerously low levels.” While all blood types are needed, the low supply of type O blood is of particular concern. Type O is the most commonly used blood type. O negative blood can be used for all patients, but it is often essential to the treatment of trauma patients, newborns and women who are pregnant. The Wilmington Blood Donation Center will be open for donors on Mondays & Wednesdays from 12:00pm-6:00pm and Fridays from 8:00am-2:00pm. Local blood drive opportunities also are available. Please call 254-GIVE (4483) for information or appointments. Appointments are best to assure your wait is minimal. Donors are asked to visit or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543). The Carolinas Blood Services Region needs 1,600 blood donations a day in order to adequately supply the 103 hospitals it serves. Donors must be age 17 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds.

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