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Blood donors needed

March 11, 2002

With the spring break holidays just three weeks away, Imperial Valley Blood Services is encouraging anyone who can to give blood this week during the community blood drive at the Farm Bureau auditorium, 10th Street and Broadway in El Centro.

Donations will be accepted from 1 until 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 8 a.m. until noon Friday. Anyone who hasn't given since Jan. 16 is eligible. Donors who gave Jan. 17 or 18 must wait until March 14 and 15 respectively to give again. First-time donors are always needed.

Blood drive coordinator Trish Burich-McNeece said there is a critical need for all blood types but especially "O" positive, "O" negative and "A" positive. "O" and "A" positive are the two most common blood types so we transfuse more of them while "O" negative is the universal donor meaning anyone can receive it," she said. "However, less than 7 percent of the population has it."

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"Over the long holiday period large crowds are again expected out at our local dunes and unfortunately there are usually more accident patients requiring blood than during non-holiday periods," she added. "There are also more traffic accidents on our highways due to the increased number of people traveling, so we try to build our inventories to ensure blood is available in the event it is needed."

Anyone who is at least 17, in good health and weighs more than 110 pounds may be eligible. Donors are encouraged to eat a good meal before donating. Many requirements have changed in the past year so people who were once ineligible may be able to give now.

All donors will receive the new "Life is for Giving … Homeland Hero" T-shirt.

For more information on giving blood, requirement changes or for a schedule of open-to-the-public-blood drives, call 353-3554 or visit the Web site at www.sandiegobloodbank.org

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