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Blood supplies run low as donors vacation

July 07, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

During the summer, blood supplies at hospitals usually reach low levels because those who normally donate blood are on vacation.

This year is no exception, said Teresa Elwood, director of blood services for the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross will hold a blood drive Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the College Center at Hagerstown Community College.

Those who give blood this summer will be entered into a drawing to win a Harley-Davidson FatBoy motorcycle. Everyone who donates blood will receive a Harley-inspired black T-shirt, Elwood said.

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"The best opportunity is giving back to your community," Elwood said.

Pam Shoaf, 52, has given 20 gallons of blood in her lifetime. She started in 1972 when there was a blood drive at her college and "everyone was doing it," she said.

Even though she doesn't like needles, Shoaf said she gives blood about every eight weeks as a way to give back to the community.

"It's really quite easy," she said.

Marina Shannon, a spokeswoman for Washington County Hospital, said that blood supply levels are low, and types O-positive, A-positive and O-negative are most needed.

According to Elwood, one pint of blood can save up to three lives, and making a donation takes about an hour.




Blood donation facts



· To give blood, you must be 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.

· Every two seconds, a patient needs a blood transfusion.

· You can give blood safely every 56 days.

Source: www.redcrosslife.org

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