Red Cross: Summer blood donations critical

  • Thursday, July 17, 2014

The American Red Cross is calling on eligible donors with all blood types to help maintain a sufficient blood supply this summer.

All eligible blood donors are being encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood soon to help prevent a shortage.

During the summer months, on average, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what is needed to meet the needs of patients. Vacations and summer activities are among the reasons regular donors may not find the time to give. But, patients donít get a vacation from needing blood Ė the need is constant.

As a national network, the Red Cross has a unique responsibility to help ensure blood is available for patients whenever and wherever it is needed.

By donating blood or platelets through the Red Cross, donors may be helping patients in their community or patients across the nation.

Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days, so they must constantly be replenished.

To learn more and make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

Two upcoming blood donation dates and locations have been announced in Berkeley County.

In Pinopolis on Aug. 10, from 12-5 p.m., a blood drive will be held at Pinopolis United Methodist Churc at 1833 Pinopolis Road.

In Goose Creek, a drive is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the cityís municipal center (519 N. Goose Creek Boulevard).

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driverís license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some 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.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nationís blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

Visit redcross.org.

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