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Red Cross seeking Bay Area blood donors

Local donations in Danville on Aug, 10

The American Red Cross is urging people to donate blood this month to ensure an adequate supply through the end of the summer.

Donors of all blood types are being sought, but eligible donors with O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative are especially needed,

Red Cross officials said.

The Red Cross faced severe shortages earlier this summer.

Blood donations traditionally drop off in the summer because high school and college blood drives provide 20 percent of the organization's supply, according to Jared Schultzman, spokesman for the Northern California Blood Services Region.

In addition, storms in the eastern U.S. kept more people indoors and away from blood-donation centers, Schultzman said.

The Red Cross put out an urgent call for donations in June and received nearly 15,000 donations nationwide since then, cutting the deficit by approximately 30 percent.

"We are humbled by the generosity of the many blood donors in the Bay Area who responded to our appeal, helping to save lives," said Jeff Meyer, CEO of the Northern California Blood Services Region. "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."

Despite the increase in donations, the blood supply remains tenuous. The Red Cross is urging eligible donors to schedule an appointment and bring two friends or family members to give blood with them.

Individuals are eligible to donate blood if they are 17 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. They must also be in good health. Minors who are 15 or 16 years old may donate, with written permission from parents and a doctor, according to the California Department of Public Health.

All donors must bring a blood-donor card or driver's license and two other forms of identification when they check in for their appointment.

The donation process takes about an hour and includes an orientation and a brief physical exam.

There are several blood drives in the area this month, including the Danville community blood drive at the Grange Hall (743 Diablo Road Danville) on Friday, Aug. 10 and ongoing donations at the Pleasanton Blood Donation Center (5556-B Springdale Ave.).

During the month of August, donors are entered into a daily drawing in which they can win movie tickets. All donors will also be entered into a drawing on Sept. 5, in which the prize is a $2,500 vacation, Schultzman said.

The Red Cross' Northern California region supplies 30 hospitals in the area, Schultzman said.

To schedule an appointment, call (800) RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

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