July 2, 2009

Memphis to Host Blood Drive July 7th

When July 7th rolls around, the smoke from all of the fireworks will have cleared, and folks will be heading back to work after a weekend filled with barbecues and all sorts of fun common to the Fourth of July weekend.

The American Red Cross hopes that the public display of patriotism will carry over a few days extra in Scotland County, long enough for eligible donors to get out and support the local blood drive at the First Baptist Church in Memphis on Tuesday, July 7th from 12:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

“The Fourth of July holiday is filled with fun, fireworks and family,” said Matthew C. Gerke, Regional Communication Manager for American Red Cross Blood Services, Missouri-Illinois Region. “It’s a time for national celebration of American independence, and a time when blood donors are especially needed to help maintain our nation’s blood supply. All Americans who are eligible are encouraged to do their patriotic duty this Fourth of July weekend by giving blood or platelets.”

The American Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region is currently experiencing low inventory of type O negative blood. O negative blood is particularly important because more than half the blood needed nationwide every day is type O. Any patient can receive type O negative blood, making it crucial in emergency and trauma situations where there is not enough time to determine a patient’s blood type. Only about 7 percent of the population has O negative blood. O negative donors are urged to donate as soon as they are eligible.

To donate blood, a person must be in good health, be at least 17 years old (16 with a Red Cross parental consent form) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Blood donors should bring a Red Cross donor card, valid driver’s license with a photo or other form of official picture identification.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, donors should call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (800-448-3543) or visit bloodisneeded.org.

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