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Red Cross urges blood and platelet donations during National Preparedness Month

WINSTON-SALEM — The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood and platelets this fall to help restock the shelves following a significant summer shortage to ensure an adequate blood supply for patients in need.

Through the first two weeks of September, the Red Cross is down more than 10,000 donations from what is needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for emergencies large and small. Declines in donations can lead to blood shortages and make it difficult to meet patient needs should a disaster or emergency occur.

“September is National Preparedness Month and we urge eligible donors to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “Whether blood is needed for a chronic condition like sickle cell disease, a routine surgery, a traumatic accident or a large-scale disaster, it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives. Red Cross blood and platelet donors play an important role in helping communities be prepared for all kinds of emergencies.”

Donors of all blood types are needed as blood products continue to be distributed to hospitals almost as quickly as donations come in. To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to help reduce wait times.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities, Sept. 20 through Oct. 15:

Rowan

China Grove

9/26/2016: 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Hitachi Metals North Carolina, LTD, 1 Hitachi Metals Drive

10/2/2016: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Mt. Zion United Church of Christ, 1415 S. Main St.

Cleveland

10/12/2016: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Cleveland Elementary School, 107 School St.

Rockwell

10/11/2016: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Saleeby-Fisher YMCA, 790 Crescent Road

Salisbury

9/27/2016: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., JF Hurley Family YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd.

10/3/2016: 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, E.H. Dole Chapter I, 1930 Jake Alexander Blvd West

10/7/2016: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., PowerCurbers Inc, 727 Bendix Drive

10/11/2016: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., W.G. Bill Hefner VA Medical Center, 1601 Brenner Ave.

10/12/2016: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, 612 Mocksville Ave.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 of age (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 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

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