During National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply is available during emergencies of all types.

A diverse blood supply is important to ensuring the needs of all patients are met. Red blood cells carry markers that determine one’s blood type, and some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups. Because blood from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient is less likely to cause complications, the Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply to meet these diverse patient needs.

Whether blood is needed for a chronic condition such as sickle cell disease, a surgical procedure or a large-scale emergency, it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives. The Red Cross encourages donors of all types to give blood, and those with types AB, O negative, A negative and B negative are especially needed.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities locally will be on Sept. 8-9, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Collins Center for the Arts, 2 Flagstaff Road, UMaine.


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