Urgent need for blood in Carolinas Region
There is a regional blood shortage and two blood collecting organizations have issued emergency requests for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give because many fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July.
The American Red Cross and the Carolina Blood Center of the Carolinas have issued urgent calls for blood.
“We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now,” said Delisa English, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for these patients in need.”
“Summer is a particularly difficult time for all blood centers because supply drops and demand often goes up,” said Martin Grable, president and CEO of the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. “Our local community is nearing a critical level and we urge all eligible donors to donate blood today.”
According to CBCC, treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease continue as usual, while trauma often increases during the summer months, pushing demand up. People are busy during the summer and students – who account for about 20 percent of the blood supply – are out of school resulting in a drop in supply drops.
Anyone 16 and older who weighs at least 120 pounds is encouraged to donate at one of the five CBCC centers located in Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia, Hickory and Monroe or at one of CBCC's many mobile blood drives, which can be found at www.carolinadonor.org
"We also encourage local businesses, schools and other organizations to host a blood drive this summer. CBCC is the blood supplier to twenty-one of the regions hospitals. We need your help supporting local patients in their need for blood while being treated for cancer, cardiovascular disease, trauma and transplants," added Grable.
American Red Cross blood drives
Saturday, July 13
Cliffside Masonic Lodge Blood Drive
Old Main Street, Cliffside
7:30 am to 12:00 pm
Call Wayne Millis at 429-0212.
Monday, July 15
Lifestyle Wellness and Spa Blood Drive
247 Oak Street, Forest City
8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experienced in June 2012.
June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year. Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer. In addition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors, especially businesses, were unable to host drives because employees took extended vacations.
The Red Cross urgently needs donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients all summer long. Each day, the American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region needs approximately 1,600 donors to step forward and give blood. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.
There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients - must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.