Red Cross sees lowest blood donations in 15 years | Community Spirit
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) The American Red Cross is seeing the lowest blood donations in 15 years.
The extreme summer weather has contributed to a decrease in donations lately.
"With extreme heat keeping some donors at home and severe storms forcing the cancellation of dozens of blood drives earlier in the month, the American Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for donors of all blood types," said the spokesperson for the American Red Cross, Frecia Ammons.
If at least two additional donors give at each blood drive through the end of July, above what the American Red Cross already expects to collect, the blood supply would be sufficient to meet patient needs, stated Ammons.
Public support from the organization's late-June appeal helped temporarily stop a decline in the blood supply, said Ammons. However, the mid-week Independence Day and extreme summer weather have contributed to a decrease in donations lately. From July 1-13, the Red Cross saw a donation shortfall of 10,587 units, explained Ammons.
"We cannot thank enough the blood donors who have already rolled up a sleeve this summer," said interim CEO of the South Carolina Blood Services Region, Julie Weilacher. "We appreciate the support from donors in our region. We're encouraging all eligible donors who didn't have a chance to give yet to step up and help patients by making an appointment, as well as those who gave earlier in the spring and are now again eligible," noted Weilacher.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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 (16 with parental permission 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.
To make an appointment or for more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org
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