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Local Blood Donations Impacted by Today's Snow Storm
Date:3/2/2009

The American Red Cross is asking blood donors to respond

PHILADELPHIA, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today's snowstorm has impacted blood donations in the Philadelphia area. Many area blood drives were cancelled or postponed and a majority of blood donors could not honor their appointments, resulting in a loss of more than two-thirds of American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Region scheduled blood donations for the day.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081216/DC52619LOGO)

The Penn-Jersey Region was scheduled to collect over 1,200 units of blood today, however due to the inclement weather throughout the region over 800 units have already been cancelled. This has the potential to negatively affect the ability of the Red Cross to provide blood and blood products to local hospitals.

The American Red Cross is asking people to donate blood at area blood drives and donation centers over the next four days to help make up for today's lost donations.

"This is a serious situation that can only be resolved by the willingness of people in our community to step forward and give blood for others in need," says Brigid O'Neill-LaGier, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. "We are asking people who were scheduled to give blood today and can't make it to reschedule their donation as soon as possible in order for blood to be available for each and every patient."

To ensure that patient needs are not compromised, the Penn-Jersey Region urgently asks all scheduled donors to make every effort to keep their scheduled appointments and encourages those who are not currently scheduled to call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543) for an immediate appointment. A call to action is sent to all members of the community.

Blood drives are held seven days a week in communities across the region. To make an immediate appointment for an American Red Cross blood drive this week, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or visit www.pleasegiveblood.org to find a listing of community blood drives.

Most healthy people who are at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds or more are eligible to donate whole blood every 56 days. In January of 2008 a law went into effect in the state of Pennsylvania that allows 16-year-old donors to donate blood with parental or legal guardian written consent. Donors can give blood at any one of nearly 200 blood drives sponsored by business and community groups in southeastern Pennsylvania and in New Jersey weekly, or at one of nine community donor centers.


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SOURCE American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Region
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