Red Cross urges blood and platelet donations during challenging summer months
by Robert Joseph Baker | May 23, 2016 8:36 pm
Last Updated: May 23, 2016 at 6:55 pm
The American Red Cross is urging blood and platelet donors to choose their day to give and help ensure blood is available for patients all summer long during its annual summer awareness campaign.
“Many Americans will be celebrating the unofficial start to summer this Memorial Day weekend, but seasonal activities that bring joy to so many can also lead to a shortage of blood and platelet donations when regular donors’ schedules change,” said Red Cross Palmetto SC Region CEO Louise Welch Williams. “Patients don’t get a summer holiday from needing lifesaving blood and platelet donations and are counting on generous volunteers to help maintain a sufficient supply this summer.”
To encourage donations around the Memorial Day holiday, those who come to give blood or platelets from May 27-31 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
The Red Cross relies on volunteer donors for the 14,000 blood donations needed every day to support patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. However, during the summer months of June, July and August, about two fewer donors schedule an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need.
When schools are out of session for the summer, it can also put a strain on blood donations. High school and college blood drives account for 20 percent of Red Cross donors during the school year. Community members can help alleviate this seasonal decline by making a commitment to give blood or host a blood drive.
Upcoming blood donation opportunites in the area include:
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today – F.E. DuBose Center, 3351 Sumter Highway in Manning.
Noon to 6 p.m. June 2 – Clarendon Health System, 50 Hospital St. in Manning.