2019 starts with a major blood donation shortage

Maryland
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The American Red Cross says they are starting off the year with a shortage in blood donations. 

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. 

Due to natural disasters and the government shutdown, the American Red Cross has lost blood drive locations that cannot be made up.

Eric Anderson, the Executive Director for the Western Chapter of the American Red Cross, says “the mission for the Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies and we do that through the generosity of donors and the power of giving.” 

Blood is essential for surgeries, chronic illness, traumatic injuries and much more.

Tom Riford volunteers on the board for the American Red Cross because he knows what it is like to have his life saved by blood donations.

A single car accident can require as much as one hundred pints of blood, but Riford lost two thirds of blood in his body from internal bleeding from a skiing accident. 

Every Wednesday afternoon between 12:30 and 6 p.m. members of the community can drop in to the American Red Cross in Hagerstown and give blood. Appointments can be made online, but walk-ins are also welcome. 

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