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Editorial: Donate blood and save lives

The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors. 

According to the organization, the Red Cross now has a three-day supply of most blood types available — and less than a two-day supply of type O blood for patients. It typically strives to have a five-day supply.

More than 450 fewer blood drives last week resulted in as many as 17,000 fewer donations than needed nationwide.

The Red Cross has stated one donation can potentially save up to three lives.

We encourage you to take advantage of opportunities that arise to donate blood if you are healthy and able. There are usually several blood drives in Freeborn County each month.

According to the Red Cross, the following are the remaining blood drives this month in Albert Lea:

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19, Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea

• 1 to 7 p.m. July 23, United Methodist Church

• 1 to 7 p.m. July 25, Trinity Lutheran Church

Blood drives are also slated for noon to 6 p.m. July 23 at Emmons Lutheran Church, and 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Geneva Community Center.