July 5 2016

Red Cross Issues 'Emergency Appeal' For Blood Donations


The American Red Cross is asking for volunteer to roll up their sleeves and help, by donating blood. 


The organization said on Tuesday that it was issuing an “emergency appeal” asking for eligible blood and platelet donors to give as soon as possible. 


According to the emergency appeal, right now, Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw-down of its overall blood supply.


“We urge people to give now to help hospital patients who depend on blood and platelets being available when they need it,” said Chris Hrouda, executive vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Summer is one of the most challenging seasons to collect enough blood, but patients need blood no matter what time of year it is.”


Over the Fourth of July weekend, the Red Cross had a tough time collecting enough blood donation, the release states. A recent survey of Red Cross blood donors showed more than 75 percent indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the week before and after July 4. Nearly 650 fewer blood drives are held the week of July 4 than during an average week. That is approximately the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood donations for an entire day. However, patients do not get a summer holiday from needing blood.

In Burlington there is a blood drive every Tuesday at the American Legion at 162 Winn Street every Tuesday from 1 to 7 p.m. You can also find other local drives here. 


Eligible blood donors are urged to schedule a donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most 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.


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