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Mamaroneck Fire Department to Hold Blood Drive Wednesday

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Dan Betker hopes that the second annual blood drive at the Village of Mamaroneck Fire Department headquarters Wednesday, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be as successful as last year.

Betker, a village firefighter, said 77 pints of blood were donated in 2011. This year, the fire department is asking people to make appointments ahead of time to get an idea of how many people will donate at the firehouse at 146 Palmer Ave.

Every unit of blood helps three patients, because it is broken down into platelets, red blood cells and plasma, said Thomas Kane, who represented the American Red Cross at the Columbia Engine and Hose Company's Aug. 15, 2011 blood drive . He added that platelets are most often used to help cancer patients, red blood cells are most often used in surgery and plasma is generally used for burn victims.

When a potential donor first walks in, they sign in and are given an informational pamphlet to review. If they choose to donate, they are taken back to the "history area," where Red Cross volunteers check their medical history, temperature, blood pressure and iron level, which is required by the FDA. If everything checks out, they can donate.

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