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Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 11:43am

Red Cross Closing Albany Blood Center

The Red Cross blood donor center in Albany will close Dec. 31.

American Red Cross officials said declining blood donations at the center are in part to blame.

“We look at all of our operations on a regular basis to see where we can reduce costs,” said April Phillips, Red Cross Blood Services Southern Region spokeswoman. “We’re no different than any other business in this economic climate.”

Phillips said Red Cross will still host regular blood drives in the Albany area and be able to collect enough donations to serve the region.

“It’s important for people to know we’re not leaving Albany,” Phillips said.

“We have a really dedicated donor base in Albany,” she said.

Phillips said closing the permanent donation center likely will not impact already low blood supplies because Red Cross officials will reach out to existing donors to tell them about the blood drives where they can donate instead.

The Albany facility is the only one of 14 centers in Georgia slated to close.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross earlier this month said it is facing critically low blood supplies. Donations are typically low in the summer months, but donations in May and June this year dropped to the lowest levels in more than a decade for that time frame.

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