ALTON - The next American Red Cross blood drive at Alton Memorial Hospital will be from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the AMH café meeting rooms.

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To register, go to redcrossblood.org/give or contact Dave Whaley in Communications at Alton Memorial, 618-433-7947 or david.whaley@bjc.org. Everyone who registers for this blood drive will receive a $20 Amazon gift card via email.

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The Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage. Low donor turnout and blood drive cancellations have led to the blood supply reaching extremely low levels.

The Red Cross needs donors of all blood types — particularly type O blood, the blood group hospitals need most — to give blood to help meet daily hospital demands. Each blood donation can be divided into components, including red blood cells, plasma and platelets, and each donation has the potential to save three lives.

Red blood cells are given to bleeding patients and used during surgeries. They are used by patients with sickle cell disease or patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis, who don’t make their own healthy red blood cells. Plasma provides coagulation factors to patients, such as those with liver disease or those on anticoagulants.

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