As the end of summer draws near and Labor Day approaches, the American Red Cross continues to experience an urgent need for blood and platelet donations.
The Red Cross is grateful for the thousands of people who answered the urgent call to donate last month. Through the end of July, the Red Cross saw an increase of approximately 7.5 percent in the number of donors coming to give blood, resulting in more than 11,800 additional donations beyond what was anticipated.
Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in. To prevent a shortage and ensure an adequate blood supply for patients the rest of the summer, the Red Cross especially needs platelet donors and those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE Red Cross blood donors from across the country are rolling up a sleeve to make a difference. Casey Jo will be a senior in high school this fall. She donated blood for the first time during a school drive last year. She recently signed up to donate after learning donations were down. Padriac previously donated whole blood, but he decided to come in and give platelets after hearing the urgent call.
To help encourage donations around Labor Day, from August 30 to September 1, all presenting blood and platelet donors will receive a Red Cross mason jar tumbler at participating blood drives and blood donation centers, while supplies last.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Individuals who donated blood earlier this summer may now be eligible to donate again. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most 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.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.