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Red Cross still needs blood

ALBANY — While things have gotten better, the need remains.

The American Red Cross is encouraged by a boost in donations since the organization issued an emergency appeal for blood donors in July. However, additional donations are needed to ensure an adequate supply is available through the end of the summer, officials with the Red Cross say.

“We are humbled by the generosity of the many blood donors who responded to our appeal, helping to save lives,” said Randy Edwards, CEO of the Southern Blood Services Region, in a statement. “The Red Cross is so appreciative for each and every selfless act of giving. Our blood donors truly do this out of the goodness of their hearts.”

Officials say that, across the country, nearly 15,000 donations have been received since the Red Cross first issued its appeal, cutting the deficit by approximately 30 percent.

To keep up the momentum, the organization is encouraging anyone who has yet to give blood this summer to schedule an appointment and bring two friends or family members with them.

Even though the number of blood donations has increased, the situation is still considered tenuous. If at least three additional people give at each blood drive this month, there would a big enough supply to meet patient needs through the end of the summer, officials say.

Donors of all blood types are needed, but eligible donors with types O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative are especially encouraged to give. Anyone who gave blood at the start of summer may be eligible to donate again as summer comes to a close, as whole blood can be taken from the same donor at a frequency of every 56 days.

Aside from the Albany Blood Donor Center, located at 1515 Dawson Road, there are other blood drives in the Albany and Leesburg area taking place over the course of the next few weeks.

Such opportunities will be available at Elements Coffee on Ledo Road from 2 p.m.-7 p.m. today, Verizon Wireless on North Westover Boulevard from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. on Monday, Lowe’s on North Westover Boulevard from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Leesburg United Methodist Church on Starksville Avenue from 2 p.m.-7 p.m. on Aug. 21.

Other nearby opportunities include blood drives at Tift Regional Medical Center from 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Aug. 17, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Aug. 23 and Americus First Baptist Church from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Aug. 24.

For more information on the donation process or to make an appointment to give, call (800) 733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org. 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, 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.