Area blood drives set

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PORTLAND The American Red Cross urges people of all races and ethnicities to give blood to help ensure a diverse blood supply for patients in need.

The vast majority of blood types fall into one of the major ABO groups. However, some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups, so a diverse blood supply is important to meeting the medical needs of an increasingly diverse patient population.

Twelve-year-old Braden Green required blood transfusions to treat complications from sickle cell disease.

“It saved his life, that blood transfusion,” said his mom, Brenda Green. “A blood donation can give a patient another chance at life or an opportunity to get through the day.”

Blood given to patients with rare blood types or those who need repeated transfusions for conditions such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia must be matched very closely. Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with a similar racial or ethnic background.

All blood types are needed to ensure that the right blood product is available at the right time for all patients. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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As a thank-you, those who come to donate blood or platelets through Sept. 30, 2018, will receive a coupon via email for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips locations. More information is available at RedCrossBlood.org/sport-clips. 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Sept. 16-30 in Franklin County:

Farmington – Sept. 25 at Noon – 5 p.m., University of Maine, 246 Main Street, North Dining Hall.

How to donate blood  Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

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