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Baystate Medical Center encouraging more regular blood donations

SPRINGFIELD — Why not make a resolution to start a new habit in 2011: Give the gift of life, often. Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations and a reduction in turnout can put the nation's blood inventory at a critical low.
Baystate Medical Center is joining hundreds of blood centers across the country in encouraging the public to become regular blood donors beginning this January as a tie-in to National Blood Donor Month. Donors must be at least age 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. New donors will be asked to provide a photo ID.
In addition to donating blood, there is always a need for new platelet donors.
Platelets are important in the control of bleeding and are generally used in patients with leukemia and other forms of cancer, open heart surgery patients, transplant patients and some trauma patients. Since they must be used within five days, maintaining an adequate supply is always a challenge. Baystate's Blood Donor Center now has new, state-of-the-art plateletpheresis machines called Trimas that are faster, provide a better end product and use only one needle.
The Blood Donor Center at Baystate Medical Center is located in the hospital's Daly Building at 759 Chestnut Street.
Hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m.
Appointments and information are available by calling 794-4600. The public can also participate in one of the many blood drives during January sponsored by Baystate Medical Center's Blood Donor Center. Baystate's Blood Donor Mobile will be at the following locations:
  • Jan. 18 — UMASS 5 College Credit Union, 243 King St., Northampton, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 20 — Lowe's, 348 Palmer Road, Ware, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 21 — Shop Rite, 40 Hazard Ave., Enfield, Conn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 24 — City Place Inn & Suites, 711 Dwight St., Springfield, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Jan. 26 — Baystate OB/GYN, 18 Union St., West Springfield, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 27 — Southworth Paper Company, 265 Main St., Agawam, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Jan. 28 — Hampden Zimmerman, 440 Pleasant St., Northampton, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 31 — Kanzaki Specialty Papers, 20 Cummings St., Ware, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
To book an appointment at one of the blood drives, call 794-4600 or toll free at 877-612-5663. Walk-ins are also welcome.

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