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Blood donations were up in July, the Red Cross reports, but so was the call for blood from area hospitals.

Despite an increase of about 7.5 percent in the number of donors, officials say there is still an urgent need for blood and platelet donations, especially from those with Types O negative, B negative and A negative.

To schedule an appointment for a donation, call (800) RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org. Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.

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