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Red Cross needs blood donations

Published 9:01am Friday, February 8, 2013

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, except when you’re talking about blood donors.

Every day, hospital patients depend on steady and consistent blood donations from volunteer donors for the blood they may need for ongoing and emergency medical care. Since February is American Heart Month, it’s a great time to put your heart into a worthwhile cause: donating blood at an American Red Cross blood drive to help hospital patients who require blood transfusion.

“Blood donations help many types of patients, including cardiac patients who are one of the leading users of blood and blood products,” said John Hagins, CEO, with the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “When individuals roll up their sleeve, they help build the blood supply. This is important anytime, but especially during the cold, wintry months when blood donations tend to decline. It’s important that the blood is on the shelf when hospital patients need a transfusion.”

All blood types are currently needed with an emphasis on donors who have types O negative, A negative and B negative.

Since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed February as American Heart Month. “Donating blood, and sharing your good health with others less fortunate, is a great way to observe this annual event,” Hagins stated.

“We’re asking more people, young and old alike, to have a heart and give blood this February. “If you’re healthy and can give, your donation can help make a difference.”

To find blood drives in your local area, individuals may call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go online at redcrossblood.org, and enter your home zip code. Information about donating blood and scheduling an appointment may be made either by phone or on its website.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Individuals should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when they come to donate.

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