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The American Red Cross schedules blood drives in Newberg over the next several days.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Blood drives are scheduled over the next several weeks in the Newberg area by the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross is seeking the public's help in stockpiling blood and blood products as the pandemic continues to stress supplies crucial to patients throughout the region.

To that end, the organization is sponsoring blood drives in communities in northwestern Oregon, including locally. Blood drives are scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Friday, June 11, at the Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center, 1802 Haworth Ave., and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Newberg Safeway store, 1140 N. Springbrook Road.

The organization has joined with the American Cancer Society in June to encourage donations via the Give Blood to Give Time effort, designed to "help ensure loved ones have the strength and support they need as they undergo cancer treatment," a release from the Red Cross said.

The American Cancer Society reported that many patient visits and procedures were delayed or cancelled as a result of the pandemic, but now are being resumed, and the need for blood products is critical.

"Unfortunately, the Red Cross is seeing fewer blood and platelet donors given as the nation begins to climb out of this pandemic," the release said. "This downturn comes at a time when the Red Cross continues to see strong demand for blood products by hospitals, causing concern for the sufficiency of the blood supply this month and throughout the summer."

To schedule a donation, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-733-2767 or enable the "Blood Donor Skill" on an Alexa Echo device.

In addition, the Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies through July 24. The test may indicate if the donor has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether he or she developed symptoms, and will help identify individuals who are candidates for donating convalescent plasma transfusions that may help patients who are fighting the virus.

Potential donors of blood and platelets must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weight at least 110 pounds and in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 or younger must also have met certain height and weight requirements.


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