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Posted: September 3, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Local 911 center to host blood drive

The Covington-Newton County 911 Center invites the community to help save a life by donating blood to the American Red Cross in Oxford Friday.

Covington-Newton County 911 will host a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 6 at Oxford City Hall, 110 W. Clark St. Event organizer Nathaniel Stykes with Covington-Newton County 911 said the drive is being held to assist the Red Cross in "getting as much blood as possible."

The entire process, from the time a blood donor arrives until the time he/she leaves, takes about an hour and 15 minutes. The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10 to 12 minutes.

Donated blood is stored in iced coolers until it is taken to a Red Cross center for processing.

Stykes said anyone who is planning to donate blood should get a good night’s rest, eat well and drink plenty of caffeine-free liquids.

He said donors must be at least 17 years old, or, if younger than 17, have parental permission; have a valid ID; weigh at least 110 pounds; have generally good health; and have not received a tattoo in the past year.

Stykes added that anyone who has been out of the country should contact the American Red Cross before donating.

Kristen Stancil, communications program manager with the American Red Cross, said that, with summer winding down, eligible donors are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and give blood or platelets to help ensure sufficient supplies. She added that the American Red Cross has an urgent need for platelets and all blood types, especially O negative, A negative and B negative.

Stancil said those who donate at American Red Cross blood drives before Sept. 9 could win one of five $1,000 American Express gift cards.

For more information about the Covington-Newton County 911 Center’s blood drive, call 770-784-2100.

More information about the American Red Cross can be found online at redcrossblood.org or by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.

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