Two major organizers of blood drives in the metro-east are issuing urgent requests for additional people to donate blood to ensure that hospitals are able to meet patient needs.
The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center and the American Red Cross have issued recent requests for additional donors.
Mississippi Valley, which provides donated blood to hospitals in the metro-east and St. Louis, issued a statement expressing concern "about the potential impact of a decline in the rate of blood donation."
"The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before the Labor Day holiday," said Dan Fox, of the Red Cross.
Factors contributing to the recent decline in donations include:
* Inability to schedule blood drives at high schools and colleges during summer months;
* Increased activity and busy summer schedules; and
* Collections days lost to the July 4th and Memorial Day holidays.
If you'd like to donate, a blood drive is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Our Lady Queen of Peace parish in Belleville.
All blood types are needed, but the groups specifically mentioned need for O-negative, B-negative, A-negative and AB blood donors.
Anyone age 17 and older, or a 16 year old with a parent's permission, who weighs more than 110 pounds and is in good general health may qualify to give blood.
For more information about future Mississippi Valley blood drives, visit www.bloodcenter.org.
For more information and to find future Red Cross blood drives, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.
Contact reporter Maria Hasenstab at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2460.