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Red Cross plans local blood drives

CARIBOU, Maine — The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise and deplete the nation’s blood inventory. 

Donors of all blood types — especially type O — are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients.

Right now, said Red Cross officials, hospitals are responding to an atypically high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants.  In addition to trauma needs, there is a great hospital demand for blood as people who deferred care during the height of the pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, requiring increased blood transfusions.

To assist in the effort, four blood drives are planned in Aroostook County this week.

Presque Isle: Tuesday, June 15, 12-6 p.m. at the Sargent Family Community Center, at the corner of Chapman Street and Riverside Drive.

Fort Kent: Wednesday, June 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 372 Frenchville Rd.

Caribou: Thursday, June 17, 12-6 p.m. at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center, 19 Main St.

Houlton: Friday, June 18, 1-5 p.m. at th Shiretown Inn & Suites, 282 North St.

Fully vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

For more information, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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