WESTERLY— The American Red Cross said it is facing a blood shortage after a significant shortfall in donations in September and October. With the holidays approaching — typically a period of lower blood donations — blood and platelet donors and volunteer blood drive hosts are needed to avoid delays in medical treatments now and throughout winter.

Donations can be made at the Westerly Blood Donation Center, 143 Franklin St., open Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make an appointment at the blood center, visit ribc.org

Local blood drives will be held at the Hugo A. Simonelli VFW 3263 Auxiliary, 60 Stonington Road, Mystic, on Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.; at the Stonington police station, 173 South Broad St., Pawcatuck, on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 1 to 6 p.m.; and at the Hilton Garden Inn, 224 Gold Star Highway, Groton, on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 1 to 6 p.m. To schedule an appointment at these events, visit redcrossblood.org.

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