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Red Cross needs blood donations to prevent shortage

Donors give blood in Rutland, Vt., Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

The American Red Cross says they are in urgent need of blood and platelet donations to prevent a shortage. They say due to the busy months of November and December, there were 1,700 fewer blood drives resulting in 50,000 fewer donations.

"A decline in the blood supply after the winter holidays is not uncommon, but it can be replenished when generous volunteers roll up their sleeves to help save lives," said Ryan Corcoran, donor recruitment director for the Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region.

January is National Blood Donor Month and blood and platelet donors of all blood types are encouraged to make an appointment.

For information on where to donate, visit redcrossblood.org.

"We encourage our generous donors who are eligible, as well as new donors, to make an appointment to give blood or platelets and help ensure blood products continue to be available for patients," said Corcoran. "Every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs blood."

A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

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