A health emergency is happening to someone every hour of every day and along with it often comes the need for blood, say Red Cross officials. While enjoying summer activities and planning vacations, many people forget the need for blood donations persists.
With the annual summer drop in blood donations, the Red Cross cannot meet local hospitals’ ongoing demand for blood and is urging people to take an hour to donate right away.
“Blood donations decrease during the summer, while demand often increases, resulting in severe blood shortages that can compromise patient care,” Candice Gulden, regional director of communications for the Red Cross, said. “Blood is needed today for patients who must receive transfusions and it will be needed tomorrow and the next day as well. Donors must understand that the need for more blood is never-ending. One donation per year is helpful, but it isn’t enough.”
Because red blood cells regenerate in the body, it is safe for most healthy people to give blood every 56 days or six times a year. Donations also can be made of platelets, the blood component that enables clotting. Platelets, which are often needed by cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, can be donated every two weeks, up to 24 times each year.
The Red Cross Southern Region needs approximately 1,200 people to donate blood each weekday to meet the needs of hospital patients. Most people who are age 17 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to give blood every 56 days. There is no substitute for blood and the only source is from volunteer donors.
Appointments for donations can be made by calling 1-800-GIVE LIFE or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org.
Three blood drives coming up:
Liberty County: Hinesville
July 28, 9 a.m.-2p.m.
WOAH Radio Station
832 E.G. Miles Pkwy
Aug. 1, 1-6 p.m.
Liberty Regional Medical Center
462 E.G. Miles Pkwy.
Bryan County: Richmond Hill
Aug. 8, noon to 7 p.m.
First Baptist Church
9184 Ford Ave.