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Red Cross sets up temporary blood donation centers amid severe shortage

SALISBURY — Aiming to end an “extreme” shortage in the blood supply, the Red Cross is bringing temporary donation centers to Rowan County throughout the month of July.

On Tuesday, the American Red Cross announced it is experiencing a severe shortage in blood donations after the July 4th holiday. The agency has a three-day supply of most blood types, a Red Cross news release said.

And there is only a two-day supply of type O negative blood, said Maya Franklin, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross. That is the blood type doctors use when they don’t have time to match a patient’s blood type, she said.

Shortages are happening throughout the area and across the country, Franklin said.

The shortage, she said, has been evident for a few weeks and it’s typical during the summer months. But the shortfall of donations was particularly high last week, the Red Cross news release said, because there were fewer blood drives than there would be in a typical week.

Franklin said she encourages people to donate blood on a regular basis.

Donated blood helps save lives, whether in the case of a traffic accident, a mother having complications during pregnancy, a patient who needs an organ transplant, or the victim of a fire, Franklin said.

Donations help ensure that patients do not experience a delay in the treatment, the news release said.

When people cannot donate, they can still spread the word about blood donations, Franklin said.

Volunteer specialists are also important to the Red Cross to help with blood donations, she said. They help make sure tasks such as bringing donated blood to hospitals are handled, Franklin said.

The nearest blood donation centers for Rowan County residents are in Huntersville, at 9800 Kincey Ave., Suite 110, and in Winston-Salem, 650 Coliseum Drive. These locations are open seven days a week.

In addition, the following temporary donations centers will be set up in Rowan County:

• Shiloh Reform Church, 100 S. Main St. in Faith, 12:30-5 p.m. July 28.

• Millbridge Ruritan Club, 490 Sloan Road in Mount Ulla, 1-5:30 p.m. July 21.

• Saleeby-Fisher YMCA, 790 Crescent Road in Rockwell, 2-6:30 p.m. July 17.

• J.F. Hurley Family YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd, in Salisbury, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. July 18.

• CARmazone, 428 S. Jake Alexander Blvd., noon-4:30 p.m. July 19.

• Walmart, 323 S. Arlington St. in Salisbury, 1-5:30 p.m. July 19.

• Salisbury Adventist Church, 305 Rudolph Road, 2-6:30 p.m. July 22.

• Salisbury Civic Center, 315 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 24.

• Lowe’s Home Improvement, 207 Faith Road, 2-6:30 p.m. July 26.

For information, call 800-RED CROSS or visit https://www.redcrossblood.org.

Contact reporter Samuel Motley at 704-797-4264.

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