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Make a difference: Donate blood

Are you considering adopting a New Year’s resolution to help people? Then the American Red Cross has just the ticket: donate blood.

Historically, January is a time of the year when blood is in short supply for transfusions and other life-saving measures, Red Cross officials said. Inclement weather often limits or cancels blood drives, while at the same time resulting in more accidents that might require a transfusion or other blood products.Photo Credit: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Save lives - The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive Jan. 21 at the Villa Academic Complex.

In addition, January is a National Blood Donor Month, which since 1970 has sought to “raise awareness of the need for blood during the winter and throughout the year, while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need,” according to a press release.

Donors of all blood types are needed, but the need is especially acute for O negative, A negative and B negative. Those donors with O negative are especially prized as it is the universal blood type and can be transfused into patients with any blood type. A negative and B negative blood can be transfused into Rh positive or negative patients.

The next blood drive locally will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Villa Academic Complex, 501 Villa Road.

To learn more about donating blood or to schedule an appointment, visit www.red crossblood.org, call 1-800-733-2767 or download the Red Cross blood donor app. A blood donor card can be issued and that, or a driver’s license or two other forms of ID, are required at check-in.

Potential blood donors must be a minimum of 17 years old (16 with parental consent and meeting certain height and weight requirements), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.

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