Summer blood donations low, Red Cross appeals to donors

News-DemocratJuly 10, 2013 

The American Red Cross is asking for blood donors to step up a give a little.

On Tuesday, the organization issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors, citing a 10 percent decrease in donations in June and the first weeks of July.

"We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now," said Scott Caswell, CEO for the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois 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."

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.

Every day the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Region needs approximately 800 blood donations to keep up with hospital demand. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed. 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.

Upcoming Blood Drives:

Give blood at American Red Cross Fairview Heights Blood Donation Center, 10886 Lincoln Trail in Fairview Heights.

Clinton County

July 16 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at American Legion Hall, 391 Louis St., Beckemeyer.

July 17 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Knights of Columbus, 480 N. Walnut, Breese.

July 17 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Market Center, 450 W. Hanover, New Baden.

July 22 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at American Legion Hall, 601 S.Clinton St., Aviston.

Madison County

July 10 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Alton Wood River Sportsmens Club, 3109 Godfrey Road, Godfrey.

July 11 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Meridian Village, 27 Auerbach, Glen Carbon.

July 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Eden United Church of Christ, 903 N. Second St., Edwardsville.

July 15 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Korte Recreation Center, 1 Nagel Drive, Highland,

July 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Highland Hope UMC, 12846 Daiber, Highland.

July 18 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at YMCA, 1200 Esic Drive, Edwardsville.

July 22 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hamel Community Building, 10 Park Ave., Hamel.

July 23 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Council 1098, 4225 Old Alton Road, Granite City .

Monroe County

July 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 321 S. Metter Ave., Columbia.

July 16 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at VFW, 406 Veterens Drive, Waterloo.

St. Clair County

July 10 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at New Athens Community Building, 406 Chester, New Athens.

July 11 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Towerview Baptist Church, 2401 Lebanon Ave., Belleville.

July 11 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. James Catholic Parish & School, 412 W. Washington Ave., Millstadt.

July 12 from 12:30 p.m. to4:30 p.m. at Senior Citizen Center, 711 S. Main St., Smithton.

July 16 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Quail Club, 8303 Concordia Church Road, Belleville.

July 19 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at First Christian Church, 5929 Old St. Louis Road, Belleville.

July 19 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Greenmount Road Church of Christ, 25 N. Greenmount Road, Belleville.

July 22 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at YMCA, 284 N. Seven Hills in O'Fallon.

July 23 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 123 E. Dee St., Lebanon.

July 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Atrium Health Care, 3354 Jerome Lane, Cahokia.

Call 800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

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