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By John McDevitt

ABINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — There is a critical need for blood donations in our region.

Since the beginning of June, the American Red Cross has collected 2,000 fewer blood donations than planned, according to Brigid O’Neill LaGier (second from left in photo), CEO of the Red Cross Penn-Jersey blood services region.

“We are very, very short, more short than usual,” she said today at a press conference at Abington Memorial Hospital.   “We need donations now.  It’s very urgent that people who are blood donors — or would like to be blood donors — call 1-800-Red Cross, find a blood drive near them, and schedule an appointment.”

“We can be giving blood within moments of someone’s arrival (at the emergency room) to help save their lives,” said Dr. James Yuschak, the trauma director at Abington Memorial.  “And if we don’t have that blood, we are going to be in trouble.”

And Yuschak (far right in photo) should know.  Besides being a physician, he himself has been the recipient a life-saving blood transfusion.

To find a local blood drive, go to www.redcrossblood.org/pennjersey or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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