The American Red Cross blood supply has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year.
The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors – now more than ever – to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.
Many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren’t taking time to give blood or platelets. In addition, this year’s mid-week Independence Day holiday has reduced the number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives. Many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations.
Unfortunately, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood products. The need is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are needed for different reasons, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies and for patients receiving treatment for cancer or sickle cell disease.
“Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood for patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Of that, the Carolinas Blood Services Region must collect approximately 1,600 pints per day,” said Delisa English, CEO of the American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
— Friday, July 6, Angel Medical Center Blood Drive, 120 Riverview Street, Franklin, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (828)369-4166 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
— Thursday, July 12, Franklin Community Blood Drive at the First Baptist Church, 69 Iotla Street, Franklin, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Call (828)369-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins welcome; appointments preferred.
— Tuesday, July 17, Drake Enterprises Blood Drive at Premiere Marketing, 265 East Palmer Street, Franklin, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (828)349-5999 for information or to make an appointment.
All presenting donors will receive an American Red Cross Tshirt and are automatically entered into a drawing for a $3,000 gift card.
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood. org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.