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Blood supply down; drives coming up in Salisbury

The American Red Cross blood supply nationally has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year.
The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.
Upcoming blood drives in Rowan County include the following:
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 29, Genesis Healthcare, Salisbury;
• 2:30 to 7 p.m. July 2, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Salisbury;
• 12 to 4:30 p.m. July 9, Red Cross, E.H. Dole Chapter, Salisbury.
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission 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 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
An unseasonably early start to spring may be a contributing factor to this year’s decrease in donations. Many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren’t taking time to give blood or platelets. In addition, this year’s mid-week Independence Day holiday has reduced the number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives. Many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations.
Unfortunately, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood products. The need is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion.

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