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Blood donations in high demand as shortage continues

May 02, 2021

Bangor — Blood donation centers locally and nationwide are experiencing a decline in blood collection, some seeing the lowest donor turnout in more than a year.

The shortage of blood donations is worrisome, as both patients and blood centers depend on the kindness and generosity of donors to ensure that blood is available to those who need life-saving treatments.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in the shortage, causing many blood drive events to be canceled across the country and limiting access to donors.

“In 2020, Northern Light Health hospitals transfused thousands of blood products to patients undergoing surgery, cancer treatment, managing chronic illness, and traumatic injuries," said Brandy Dow, associate vice president, Northern Light Laboratory. "There is an increased need for blood products, yet donations are declining. We need help from donors in our communities to ensure that we have blood available for those who need it when diagnoses and emergency situations arise.”

While a COVID-19 vaccine isn’t required to donate blood, those who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine can donate immediately if they feel well. Each donation takes about an hour and can save up to three lives. Prospective donors can schedule a potentially life-saving donation through a site such as redcrossblood.org.

Upcoming local blood drives include:

Thursday, May 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Waldo County YMCA, 157 Lincolnville Ave., Belfast.

Thursday, May 13, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Belfast Boathouse, 34 Commercial St., Belfast.

For more information about appointments available and future drives, visit redcrossblood.org.

 

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