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County Red Cross center offers extended hours

July 03, 2008

Beginning this week, the Washington County chapter of the American Red Cross' donor center at 1131 Conrad Court in Hagerstown has extended its hours and added an additional day for people to donate blood.

Teresa Elwood, who heads up the blood program for the Washington County chapter, said donors now will be able to come in and donate blood on Monday from noon to 6 p.m. in addition to continuing to come in on Wednesday during those same hours.

"We want to make it as convenient as possible for donors to come in and donate blood," said Meghan Stahl-Skinner, senior field representative of the Greater Alleghenies Region, American Red Cross Blood Services.

Stahl-Skinner added the Red Cross relies on its volunteer donors to help provide much-needed blood products to hospitals, so efforts were made to accommodate their busy schedules and give them more options to donate on a day or time that would best suit them.

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Stahl-Skinner said the current push for more blood donors was due to many factors, among them the absence of regular donors.

"We especially need donors during the summer months when donations decline due to nice weather, schools being out of session and families taking vacations," she said. "Our donors may take vacations, but the need for blood never does."

To donate, individuals must be 17 years old - 16-year-olds can donate in Maryland and Pennsylvania with parental consent - weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.

Those with eligibility questions may contact the Red Cross Nursing Department at 1-800-542-5663.

Those wishing to make an appointment to donate blood may call 1-800-GIVE LIFE or go to redcrosslife.org.

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