Red Cross blood drives

The American Red Cross encourages all eligible blood donors to make an appointment to donate blood soon to help prevent a shortage.

During the summer months, on average, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what is needed to meet the needs of patients.

As a national network, the Red Cross has a unique responsibility to help ensure blood is available for patients whenever and wherever it is needed. By donating blood or platelets through the Red Cross, donors may be helping patients in their community or patients across the nation.

Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days, so they must constantly be replenished.

These local blood drives are being held soon:

— Aug. 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 140 Maple Ave., Altamont, NY 12009;

— Aug. 9, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Voorheesville Fire Department, 12 Altamont Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186; and

— Aug. 11, from 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 16 Elsmere Ave., Delmar, NY 12054.

How to donate blood

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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.

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