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During holidays, blood needed more than ever

March 29, 2002|BY ERICA ENSMINGER

The Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross will hold several blood drives during the Easter season.

Supplies of most blood types are at a two-day level, according to Red Cross officials. Normally, a three-day supply is needed, the Red Cross said.

"Not knowing what the anticipated needs are, it's always nice to have that amount," said Cindy Kline, director of Emergency Services at the Washington County Chapter.

During holidays, it can be difficult to keep blood supplies at the required amount, she said.

"It seems that when the weather gets warmer and the holidays come, the supplies decrease," Kline said.

Kline said that the holidays are the time when the need for blood is most crucial.

"There are more people traveing and there are more accidents," she said.

While there is no shortage of any particular blood type, there is always a need for type O, which is the universal blood type, she said.

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"We certainly hope folks having that blood type will come foward," said Kline.

"The ability to save lives is crucial and it is a result of having enough blood," said Kline. "We would really like to encourage people to donate blood so that they will always be part of that."

To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 105 pounds or more, be in general good health and not have donated blood within the past 56 days.

The upcoming blood drives in this area are:

-- Friday, March 29, City Hospital, Martinsburg, W.Va., noon to 4 p.m.

-- Friday, March 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Valley Mall, Hagerstown.

-- Monday, April 1, noon to 6 p.m., Martinsburg Mall, Martinsburg.

-- Wednesday, April 3, 1 to 7 p.m., Berkeley Springs American Legion, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

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