Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 12:55

Blood donations down about 10 percent in June

 

PEORIA, Ill. (July 9, 2013) – The American Red Cross issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give because many fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July.

“We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for these patients in need.”

Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experienced in June 2012.

June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year. Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer. In addition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors, especially businesses, were unable to host drives because employees took extended vacations.

The Red Cross urgently needs donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients all summer long. Each day, the American Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region needs approximately 500 blood donations. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients - must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.

 

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities

 

Henry County

July 9 from 1:30-5 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, 201 First St. in Colona, Ill.

July 10 from 2-6 p.m. at First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St. in Kewanee, Ill.

July 11 from 2-6 p.m. at St. John’s Vianney Church, 313 S. West St. in Cambridge, Ill.

July 23 from 1-6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 214 NW Second Ave. in Galva, Ill.

 

Mercer County

July 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at VFW Hall, 106 SW Third Ave. in Aledo, Ill.

 

Muscatine County

July 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Menasha Packaging, 3206 Hershey Ave. in Muscatine, Iowa

July 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at U.S. Bank, 1800 Park Ave. in Muscatine, Iowa

 

Whiteside County

July 9 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

July 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Red Cross, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

July 11 from 3-8 p.m. at Tampico United Methodist Church, 202 Lincoln Ave. in Tampico, Ill.

July 16 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

July 16 from 12-6 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 200 W. Lincolnway in Morrison, Ill.

July 17 from 2-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

July 19 from 1-5 p.m. at Northland Mall, 2900 E. Lincolnway in Sterling, Ill.

July 23 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

 

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Red Cross is supported in part through generous financial donations from the United Way. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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