The amount of blood available for patients who need it has dropped significantly and all types are needed. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood now.
To be a blood donor, individuals must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent. "We ask that everyone remember the hospital patients who need blood this summer," said Dr. Richard Benjamin, Chief Medical Officer for the Red Cross. "These patients are depending on blood being available to help them in their battle to regain their health."
The number of people giving blood has plunged dramatically this summer. During June, July and August blood donations drop because schools are out of session and families are on vacation. People become busy with seasonal activities and often overlook donation blood. But this summer's extremely hot weather has caused an even larger decline in the number of blood donors.
Many think only patients having surgery or someone injured in an accident use blood. However, blood can also help cancer patients, patients with blood disorders, burn victims and many others. To meet the needs of these patients, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 22,000 blood donations each weekday, and about 15,000 donations every weekend.
Blood is perishable – it has a shelf life just like groceries. With the Labor Day holiday weekend only days away, it is critically important to give now and build up the inventory of blood available.
Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. Please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org today to find a convenient blood donation location and schedule your donation time.