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Summer always seems to be a time of blood shortages, and this year is no exception.
Students in high school, college and university make up about 20 percent of the River Valley Region's blood collection. With most students on summer recess, blood centers across the state are facing even more challenge to keep up their supplies.
Summer is also the time when people take vacations and spend time doing other outdoor activities, oftentimes not taking the time to give blood as they normally might.
Because of this, though, the decreased supply limits blood centers' ability to provide the lifesaving fluid where it's needed.
Residents have three chances to help this week:
-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Taylor County Chiropractic. To donate, schedule an appointment by calling 465-5200.
-Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. at Kroger in Green River Plaza.
-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Many medical procedures are affected by blood supplies - cancer treatments, organ transplants and advanced medical procedures in addition to surgeries, treatment for accident victims and more. Because of that, the Red Cross advises having a three- to five-day inventory to keep the blood supply at safe levels.
Despite the fact that giving blood is easy, safe and takes less than an hour, only 5 percent of eligible Americans donate blood. To donate blood, one must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds or more.
All eligible donors are encouraged to call (800) GIVE-LIFE to schedule a blood donation appointment.