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January 5, 2014

Red Cross: Need for blood donations higher during winter

Keeping blood donations on the shelves is important all year round, said Cari Merrill, a spokeswoman for American Red Cross in Wichita.

Keeping blood donations on the shelves is important all year round, said Cari Merrill, a spokeswoman for American Red Cross in Wichita.

But this time of year, that task gets more difficult.

“Winter time is particularly challenging for blood collection because of inclement weather and people getting sick,” Merrill said.

The first of the year is a good time to think about giving blood, Merrill said, as people consider their New Year’s resolutions.

“A lot of us are thinking about eating healthy and getting exercise,” Merrill said, “and one thing we would like to encourage people to do is not only make ourselves healthy but others as well.”

Donating blood takes about an hour. Donors can give blood every eight weeks. People who are least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health are eligible to donate blood.

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