The American Red Cross needs healthy blood donors to step up to the plate this summer and head off a potential blood shortage.

The need for blood continues this time of year, but many regular donors are busy with vacations and summer fun.

In addition, younger donors are home from school and not giving at their regular school blood drives. High school and college students contribute nearly 15 percent of the blood supply.

An American Red Cross bloodmobile will be at the John Day Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Wednesday, Aug. 18, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old with a signed consent form), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good general health.

The need for blood is constant. Nearly 5,000 pints are needed every week to supply patients in more than 80 hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Giving blood is a safe and easy way to help save the lives of people with cancer, heart disease, blood disorders and other illnesses. In addition, there are more traumatic accidents in the summer, increasing the need for blood for emergency surgery patients.

The Red Cross encourages eligible blood donors to give this summer.

For questions about donor eligibility, please call 1-800 GIVE LIFE or e-mail CanIDonate@usa.redcross.org.

American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Regional Blood Services (PNWRBS) is the sole supplier of blood and blood products to over 80 hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Southeast Alaska. The region is the eighth largest of 36 American Red Cross blood regions and stretches throughout Southwest and Central Washington State and most of Oregon. In order to meet the needs of its patients, PNWRBS must collect at least 5,000 pints of blood each week. For more information, visit www.redcross.org.

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