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Blood, platelet donations needed

Red Cross expects a decline in blood and platelet donations over the holiday season, and is encouraging people to donate.

The Red Cross typically sees a decline in donations during the winter holiday season. Individuals can help the Red Cross and hospital patients by giving a blood or platelet donation. Each donation can help save up to three lives.

"Hospital patients don't get a holiday from needing blood and platelets," Steve Mavica, spokesman for the Connecticut Blood Services Region, said.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. On average, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Blood donations are used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies and those living with chronic blood diseases each and every day.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. Individuals who are 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate. High school students and other donors who are 18 and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

For more information or to make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-733-2767.

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