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American Red Cross Blood Services continues appeal for donors

Despite increased donor turnout in recent days, blood inventories in the 100-county Greater Alleghenies Region of American Red Cross Services continues to hover at one-day supply levels.
According to Jim Starr, CEO, this week’s inventories of three blood types stood at critically low levels, with just a day’s supply in reserve for nearly 100 hospital customers: O positive, O negative and A negative.
The region typically strives to maintain a five-day supply of all blood types, but has no more than a two-day supply of any blood type.
“In order to replenish our blood supply we need sustained, strong donor turnout in the coming days and weeks,” Starr commented.
Starr said that following a successful July, the Greater Alleghenies Region collected just 91 percent of its goal during August, a collection deficit of more than 1,700 donations. As a result, the region’s inventory of several blood types dropped to half to one-day supply levels, prompting last week’s emergency donor appeal.
He noted that those who present to donate are also automatically entered into the drawing for two tickets to the 2008 Daytona 500, including travel and hotel accommodations, and will also receive a long-sleeved racing T-shirt, while supplies last, all part of Greater Alleghenies Region’s current “Join the Race to Save Lives” campaign.
Giving blood is a safe process, is easy and takes very little time. Most donors are eligible to give blood every 56 days.
Upcoming blood drives include:
• Tuesday, September 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at American Eagle Paper
• Tuesday, September 18 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Tyrone
• Monday, September 24 from noon to 6 p.m. at Northern Blair County Recreation Center
Another option is that individuals may visit the Altoona Donation Center to give blood. The center is open on Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m. and is located on Kettle Road, two blocks off E. Pleasant Valley Blvd. Call 941-8386 with questions.
Also, individuals are always able to schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-Give-Life (1-800-448-3543).
The Greater Alleghenies Region of the American Red Cross Blood Services strongly urges anyone who is eligible to give blood to call as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to donate or visit www.redcrosslife.org or www.givelife.org for a schedule of upcoming area blood drives.
Although giving blood takes very little time and about 60 percent of the people in America are eligible to donate blood, only five percent do.
Anyone at least 17-years-of-age, weighing 110 pounds or more and feeling in good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Individuals with donor eligibility questions should call the nursing collections office at 1-800-542-5663.