After careful review and consideration, the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region announced today that it will close its Albany blood donation center on Dec. 31, 2011. The donor center will remain open during its normal operating hours throughout the remainder of the year, although it will be temporarily closed for staff training Aug. 8 - 13. Red Cross blood drives throughout the Albany area will not be impacted and will continue.
Like many companies and non-profit organizations in the current economic climate, the Red Cross says it must regularly evaluate its business operations to determine where it can control costs. This year has been no exception.
The last few years have been difficult for many organizations, including the Red Cross, and even harder for many families, said Randy Edwards, chief executive officer, American Red Cross, Southern Blood Services Region. But, the Albany community has remained committed to blood donation and has played a vital role in supporting patients in area hospitals. The Red Cross is equally committed to making sure that patients in our local hospitals receive the blood and blood products they need.
Edwards says the need for blood remains steady and that donors are needed now more than ever as the region is still facing a critical blood shortage due to decreased donations during the summer. The Southern Blood Services Region supplies more than 120 hospitals throughout Georgia, including Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Tift Regional Medical Center, and South Georgia Medical Center.
There is a constant need for donors of all blood types, said Edwards, and with multiple blood drives held in the community on a regular basis, we are confident that there will be ample opportunities for donors here in the Albany area to continue to help save lives through blood donation.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
For more information on blood donations or to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.