Stewart Regional Blood Center urges everyone who has given blood at least once to donate a second time.

If every blood donor gave at least two times a year, there would never be a blood shortage, according to officials at Stewart Regional.

According to recent statistics, nearly one in four patients admitted to a hospital will need a blood transfusion to support their medical therapy.

Blood drives scheduled for the area are:

• March 17 — ETMC-Gun Barrel City, 100 Municipal Drive, Gun Barrel City, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• March 19 — East Texas Medical Center, 2000 S. Palestine, Athens, noon to 3 p.m.

• March 22 — Athens High School, in Annex Gymnasium, 708 E. College St., Athens, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Blood is used primarily in cases of severe trauma including accidents and disasters, organ transplants, marrow transplants, cancer therapy, surgical blood loss, sickle cell disease and other anemias. Over 4 million people in America receive blood transfusions annually.

For about 2 million patients, the need for blood is urgent and lifesaving.

Donors are welcome at any of Stewart’s six convenient area donor center locations in Tyler, Longview, Lufkin, Marshall, Mount Pleasant and Paris.

Stewart also hosts on-site blood drives in East Texas communities daily. Donor center directions, hours of operation and information on holding on-site blood drives are available at 1-800-252-5584 or online at www.stewartblood.org.

Any individual, company, place of worship, community organization, school, hospital or other group may set up a blood drive by calling the center at 1-800-252-5584.

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