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Red Cross issues urgent call for all blood types

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Information from Red Cross: Wilmington -– While temperatures and fuel prices continue to rise this summer, the American Red Cross reports that the blood inventory levels are so low it is unable to sufficiently meet the demand of local hospitals. While there is a constant need for all blood types, donors with type O positive, O negative, A positive and A negative are asked to take an hour to donate right away. It is especially crucial for donors with type O blood to donate within the next few days. Type O is the most common blood type and is used extensively by hospitals. Type O blood donors are considered universal red cell donors because their blood can be given to most other blood types in emergencies when there is no time to type a patient’s blood. Hospitals commonly experience an increase in traumas during the summer, making the need for type O blood even greater. The Wilmington Service Area of the American Red Cross has designated these following blood drives as “Emergency Drives.” We urge all eligible donors to please take an hour out of their day to help us boost the blood supply and help save lives. New Hanover County: Wed., July 16: UNCW, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat., July 19: National Guard Armory, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tue., July 22: Ogden Baptist Church, 2:30-7 p.m. Tue., July 29: Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty, 12:30-5 p.m. Fri., Aug. 1: Children’s Developmental Services Agency, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Brunswick County: Tue., July 15: Calabash VFW, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Columbus County: Thur., July 17: Columbus Regional Medical Center, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Due to this urgent need the Wilmington Blood Center at 1102 S. 16th Street will be open everyday through July 16th. Hours vary so please call 254-GIVE to schedule your appointment. Walk-ins are welcomed too. “People often forget that the need for blood never takes a vacation,” says Robert F. Fechner, chief executive officer, American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. “Blood donations always decline during the summer months, but blood is used to treat area hospital patients every day. Unless donors respond immediately, hospitals may need to cancel elective or non-emergency surgeries.” “We want to make the donation process as convenient as possible for those who take time out of their day to help save lives. In order to avoid waits at our donor centers and blood drives, we ask that donors call to make appointments to give blood,” adds Fechner. The American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region needs approximately 1,600 people to donate blood and platelets each weekday to meet the needs of hospital patients. Most people who are age 17 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to give blood every 56 days. There is no substitute for blood, and the only source is from volunteer donors. To schedule an appointment to donate or for information on the location of blood drives, call1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543) or visit www.redcrossblood.org

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