Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

July 14, 2013

Red Cross: 'Emergency' need for blood, platelets

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Red Cross officials are concerned that they may not have enough blood to get through the summer season after nationwide donations were down about 10 percent in June.

The drop off has resulted in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experienced in June 2012.

To try and recover some of the losses, the American REd Cross is hosting a “Communities That Care” blood drive on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Dale Association, 33 Ontario St. A “Communities That Care” blood drive is an initiative to engage local citizens and boost regional blood supplies by enlisting community support.

According to Red Cross officials, June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations because 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. When schools recess for the summer, donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent.

A mid-week Independence Day holiday didn't help; it 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 throughout the summer.  Each day, the American Red Cross New York-Penn Blood Region needs approximately 1,200 donors to step forward and give blood.

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.

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