Get started on summer: donate blood
Need for blood doesn’t end when summer vacation begins
With summer around the corner, and the end of the school year in sight, new and eligible blood donors are urged to help strengthen the blood supply by volunteering to give in the next few weeks.
“While summer signals rest and relaxation for a lot of us, it’s also a time we can work together to ensure blood is there for hospital patients,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for the American Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services.
Low blood supplies are typical from late May through September because regular donors and their families become busy with summer fun and may neglect to donate blood. At the same time, blood needs rise as increased roadway and travel-related accidents drain supplies—particularly during high travel weekends like Memorial Day. Someone seriously injured in an automobile accident, for instance, may need up to 40 units of blood for their emergency care.
Every day, patients across the U.S. need an average of 38,000 units of blood. And while that need doesn’t change with the season, the American Red Cross typically sees a dip in blood donations during the summer months. That dip, Red Cross officials say, is partly due to high school and college students being on summer break, and not giving through regularly scheduled school drives. About 20 percent of the blood supply is donated by high school and college students.
“The need for blood never takes a vacation,” said Wilson. “We’re asking all eligible donors—including students--to remember the countless adults and children in need of blood, and to make donating blood part of their summer activities.”
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. If you are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The Central Ohio Blood Services Region serves 27 counties, and needs 800 blood donors each day to meet patient needs in 42 hospitals. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org. 04/13AP135