Red Cross appeals for blood donations to restock supplies

07/23/2014 7:04 PM

07/23/2014 10:28 PM

The American Red Cross needs donations of all blood types because of a nationwide shortfall, including its Southwest region, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“Every day, the American Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country,” spokeswoman Daphne Matthew said. “In the Southwest region, we have a shortfall of approximately 100 units.”

Summer is usually a challenging time for blood donations because regular donors go on vacation, but the drop on the July Fourth holiday was especially steep. Independence Day fell on a Friday this year, and many people took long weekends.

“The number of donors continues to decline, and we just haven’t seen as much of a bounce-back after the holiday,” she said.

On top of that, donations at high school and college campuses drop over 80 percent during the summer break.Students account for 20 percent of blood donations, she said.

Donations of O-negative, B-negative and A-negative blood types are especially needed.

Donors must be in good health and at least 16 with parental consent or 17 without, and weigh at least 110 pounds, according to the American Red Cross website.

Call 800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org for information and eligibility requirements.

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