The American Red Cross reports there is an urgent need for all blood types, especially as the Labor Day Holiday travel weekend gets closer. Communications Manager for the Greater Arkansas Region of the American Red Cross Danielle Ray tells why the summertime can lead to a need for blood donations.
“People are on vacation traveling, and there are other summer activities that take place that keep them away from blood donation centers. Another issue is that we hold a lot of blood drives through the school year on high school and college campuses. During the school year, those blood donations account for about 20% of our blood donations. We don’t see a lot of those blood donors during the summer months while they are out of school, and we are not holding those blood drives on school campuses. Those are a few of the different reasons why we see a drop in blood donations through the summer.”
Ray tells how much blood donations have declined.
“Right now, across the nation, the Red Cross has seen an 8% decline over the past 11 weeks. That is about 80,000 fewer donations than we expected nationwide. In our region across Arkansas, we have seen a sharper decline. We have seen a 23% decline from expectations here our area, which equates to about 4,000 fewer units of blood than what we thought we would be this time of year.”
Ray says this call for blood donors can help store up blood for use.
“We are not in a shortage right now, but what we are doing is working to prevent a future shortage of blood. That is why we are asking for the public’s help now. When we get into a shortage that is when hospitals are not getting the blood that they need. That is when patients can be affected and we want to prevent that situation from happening. That is why we are asking for the public’s help. Every day that we come up short can have an impact on patients. We can take action now when people come out and donate. If you haven’t donated in a while, now is a great time to help those patients who need that blood.”
Ray tells what blood is used for.
“It can help many different patients, such as trauma victims, people who have routine surgeries, transplant patients, those who need blood transfusions, and more. Some of those people who may need blood transfusions include new mothers after they have given birth. Cancer patients need blood. There are so many patients that need blood and platelet transfusions on a daily basis across the state and across the nation.”
She says donors of all blood types are needed, especially those who have type O negative, B negative, and A negative blood. More information included in this press release from the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before the Labor Day holiday, even after many more donors stepped up to give following an urgent call issued in late July. Donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed.
Blood donations often decline during the summer months, particularly around summer holidays. With school starting back up and summer activities coming to an end, there is still time for eligible donors to make a difference in the lives of patients this summer.
To encourage donations over the Labor Day holiday weekend, all donors who come out to donate blood August 30 through September 1, will receive a Red Cross mason jar tumbler, while supplies last.
To learn more and make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Aug. 18 from 3 - 7 p.m. at Church of Christ Thornton, 742 S. Thornton St. in Piggott
Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ritter Communications, 2400 Ritter Drive in Jonesboro
Aug. 22 from 1 - 5 p.m. at St Bernards Medical Center, 225 E. Jackson in Jonesboro
Aug. 26 from 11 AM - 7 p.m. at Arkansas State University, 2105 Aggie Road at Arkansas State University
Aug. 27 from 11 AM - 7 p.m. at Arkansas State University, 2105 Aggie Road at Arkansas State University
Aug. 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Crowley's Ridge College, 100 College Drive in Paragould
Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Black River Technical College, 1 Black River Drive in Paragould
Aug. 30 from 12 - 4 p.m. at Gazaway Lumber Company, 2620 W. Kings Hwy. in Paragould
Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mt. Zion Lodge #10, 985 Batesville Blvd. in Batesville
Aug. 16 from 2 - 6 p.m. at Harps Food Store, 1740 Batesville Blvd. in Batesville
Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Southside High School, 70 Scott Drive in Batesville
Aug. 29 from 1 - 6 p.m. at Exxon, 9440 Harrison St. in Newark
Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arkansas State University, 7648 Victory Blvd. in Newport
Aug. 29 from 12 - 5:30 p.m. at Sloan Hendrix High School, #1 Greyhound Circle in Imboden
Jonesboro Blood Donation Center is open 6 days a week at 1904 Grant St.:
- Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- OPEN Monday, Sept. 1, Labor Day.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org <http://www.redcrossblood.org/> to make an appointment or for more information. 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 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.
About the American Red Cross
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.