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Red Cross Reports Critical Blood Shortage

The American Red Cross issued an emergency appeal on July 5 asking eligible blood and platelet donors to give as soon as possible.

Right now, Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw-down of its overall blood supply.

“We urge people to give now to help hospital patients who depend on blood and platelets being available when they need it,” said Chris Hrouda, executive vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Summer is one of the most challenging seasons to collect enough blood, but patients need blood no matter what time of year it is.”

Over the Fourth of July weekend, the Red Cross had a tough time collecting enough blood donations. A recent survey of Red Cross blood donors showed more than 75 percent indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the week before and after July 4. Nearly 650 fewer blood drives are held the week of July 4 than during an average week. That is approximately the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood donations for an entire day. However, patients do not get a summer holiday from needing blood.

Eligible blood donors are urged to schedule a donation as soon as possible. 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.

Visit redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

Local Blood Drives this Month

July 15, 1-6 p.m.

United Congregational Methodist Church

134 Broad St., Salamanca

July 18, 1-6 p.m.

St. Pauls Lutheran Church

6360 Route 242 East, Ellicottville

July 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center

9822 Rte. 16, Machias

July 29, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Little Valley United Methodist Church

109 Court St., Little Valley

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