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A  critical need: U.P. Regional Blood Center seeking donors, hosting local drives

From left, Upper Peninsula Regional Blood Center blood collection coordinator Rachel Heath, disconnects tubing from donor Jessica Bowers, 19, following a blood donation on Friday. The U.P. Regional Blood Center, which serves 13 U.P. hospitals, announced on Tuesday a critical need for all blood types. A blood drive will be held at UP Health System in Marquette on Monday. For more information about upcoming blood drives or center locations, visit the blood centerÕs UPRBC906 Facebook page or www.mgh.org/blood. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

MARQUETTE — The Upper Peninsula Regional Blood Center is asking everyone who can safely do so to consider donating blood.

The center, which serves 13 U.P. hospitals, announced Tuesday on its Facebook page that it is currently experiencing a critical need for all blood types.

Donor Jessica Bowers, 19, of Marquette, said she came to donate on Friday in response to a phone call from the center.

“This really helps people,” Bowers said, “It’s pretty easy, and it’s the right thing to do.”

The entire experience, from start to finish, took about 30 minutes, she said.

In general the process — from filling out the donor questionnaire to the physical screening measures that assess hemoglobin levels, temperature and blood pressure — takes less than an hour in most cases, UPRBC blood collection coordinator Rachel Heath said.

Heath said younger donors might not realize how critical the need is.

“It would really be great to see more people in the younger generation get into the habit of donating,” Heath said.

The UPBRC has collection sites in Marquette, Hancock and Escanaba, and has blood drives scheduled every week, including one at UP Health System in Marquette on Monday, a drive at Neenah Paper in Munising on Tuesday, the Rock Lions Club on Thursday and the Medical Office Building at 115 N. Lake Street in Manistique on Friday.

For more information about upcoming blood drives or center locations, visit the blood center’s UPRBC906 Facebook page or www.mgh.org/blood. For Marquette hours and scheduling, call 906-449-1450; Hancock hours and scheduling are available by calling 906-483-1392; and Escanaba hours and scheduling can be obtained by calling 906-786-8420.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal. net.

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