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Giving the gift of life for the holidays

Red Cross calls need for blood urgent

Peter Spencer of Spencer is prepped for his blood donation by a Red Cross phlebotomist during Tuesday’s blood drive at the Publick House in Sturbridge. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
November 25, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Injuries never take a holiday, meaning hospitals always need to have large supplies of blood available.

Unfortunately, Massachusetts has produced disappointing blood donation totals in the past five years, according to the American Red Cross. Last year, only five percent of the state's population donated blood, meaning the Red Cross was forced to import 86,000 pints of blood from other states to meet the needs of patients in Massachusetts hospitals.

For this reason, the Red Cross is holding additional blood drives in Massachusetts and is urging residents to donate their blood.

"Giving blood is such an easy and rewarding thing to do," said Brimfield resident Lynne Ellis, who donated her blood on Tuesday, Nov. 23 during the most recent area blood drive, held at the Publick House Historic Inn. "Even if you are fortunate enough to never need blood at a hospital, it's likely that someone you know will eventually need blood, and they'll be relying on people who donated blood."

Holidays, whether Thanksgiving and Christmas or Memorial Day weekend, are times of even greater need.

"The toughest times of the year for blood collection are the holiday season and the summer months," said Adam Edelstein, a Blood Donor Recruiter for the Red Cross.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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