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Jared Kushner finally granted his security clearance. Also on our nationwide rundown: a new lawsuit seeks the release of a gay man from ICE Detention in Pennsylvania; and protecting an Arizona water source for millions near Phoenix.

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Summer Brings Critical Blood Shortage at State and National Blood Banks

PHOTO: The Red Cross and United Blood Services of New Mexico remind residents they can help save neighbors' lives by donating blood this month. Summer is a critical time as blood supplies diminish across the U.S. Photo credit: U.S. State Department.
PHOTO: The Red Cross and United Blood Services of New Mexico remind residents they can help save neighbors' lives by donating blood this month. Summer is a critical time as blood supplies diminish across the U.S. Photo credit: U.S. State Department.
August 19, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexicans are being encouraged to roll up their sleeves and give blood, particularly as blood supplies diminish during the summer months.

Evelyn Bryant, regional donor recruitment manager with United Blood Services of New Mexico, says donations of blood drop during the summer because high school students are on break, and regular blood donors are typically on vacation.

"Not only the high school students, but people go on vacation and put off their blood donation until after they come back," says Bryant. "We work very hard during the summer to figure out what we can do to bring people in to donate."

The American Red Cross estimates one in 10 people admitted to the hospital will require a blood transfusion. In New Mexico, donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with a signed parental consent form. Donors must also be in good health, and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Bryant says many people don't think about giving blood until they hear about hospitals facing shortages, or when there's been some sort of major tragedy. She notes a simple blood donation from one person can save multiple lives.

"We can actually take a whole blood donation and divide it into some plasma, some platelets, and red cells," she says. "So three different patients can actually use that one donation."

Although nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood, the American Red Cross reports only about five percent donate each year.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM