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      Red Cross seeking blood donations ahead of Irene

      The Red Cross is uring people to donate blood ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irene. / FILE

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The Red Cross is uring people to donate blood ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irene.

      "It TMs the blood that is already on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster," stated Delisa English, chief executive officer for the South Carolina Blood Services Region. "We are still working to stabilize the blood supply after our summer shortages. If people will donate blood immediately, before the storm, then blood will be available in the aftermath should conditions prohibit people from traveling or coming to blood drives."

      According to the American Red Cross , each day in the United States, there is a need for a blood transfusion every two seconds, which means 39,000 blood donations are needed everyday to meet need.

      In the Palmetto State, that need is in excess of 500 units daily, and when a natural disaster strikes the need for blood is increased dramatically.

      "Don TMt wait until after the storm to donate," urged English. "The time to help is now."

      To schedule an appointment or locate a nearby blood drive, call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.

      Are you a blood donor? If so, tell us why by leaving a comment below.

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