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Critical Blood Shortage Prompts American Red Cross' Emergency Call For Donors

06 July 2017, 12:26 | Nellie George

Critical Blood Shortage Prompts American Red Cross' Emergency Call For Donors

Red Cross calls for donations amid blood shortage

Overall, the summer months are among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they vacation and take part in summer activities.

Officials with the organization say there were some 61,000 fewer donations during the last two months, causing a significant draw down of the blood supply. That's the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood at all for four days.

The American Red Cross will be providing additional donation centers across South Jersey throughout the summer to make it easier for donors to come and give blood. Almost one-third fewer new blood donors came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year due in part to schools - where blood drives are held and where new donors give - being out of session during the summer months. The Red Cross says if you plan to donate, drink lots of water, and if you are taking medication bring a list with you. The Red Cross must collect almost 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

Red Cross calls for donations amid blood shortage
Blood drives planned today in Anderson Co.

There is a critical blood shortage, according to Joe Zydio, Red Cross external communications manager of the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region. "And I've probably given about 20 gallons of blood over time".

Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

New donors and those that haven't donated in awhile are encouraged to do so as well.

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