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American Red Cross Biomedical Services plays a critical role in our nation’s health care system. It is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, collecting and processing approximately 40 percent of the blood supply and distributing it to about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. The Red Cross also plays a leading role in protecting the safety of donors and patients and increasing the availability of blood. It has been among the first to help develop and implement testing for infectious diseases and is frequently the single major contributor to clinical trials to improve blood safety. Providing life-saving blood and blood products to patients is a key component of the Red Cross mission to help people in times of emergency and disaster.

Hurricane Matthew has forced the cancellation of approximately 55 Red Cross Blood Drives along the Southeast coast resulting in more than 1,800 blood donations going uncollected. Additional cancellations are anticipated in the coming days as major flooding and power outages affect many areas. The Red Cross is sending blood products to areas impacted by the storm to help ensure a readily available blood supply is available for patients in need. Right now blood donations are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as they come in. Eligible donors in parts of the country unaffected by the storm are urged to make an appointment as soon as possible.

How Can You Help? Please consider scheduling an appointment and making a donation at the upcoming blood drive being held at the Suffield Senior Center, 145 Bridge St, on Thursday, December 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The drive is sponsored by P.A. Bland & Associates Insurance Agency.

To schedule an appointment visit or call 1-800-733-2767.

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