The American Red Cross always anticipates a dip in donations during the summer months, because people are busier with summer projects and vacations, and school is out of session. (About 20 percent of their donations are from college and high school blood drives.) However, Bobbi Snethen (snee-then) with the Red Cross says even considering those factors, donations are down 10 percent more than expected, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than anticipated.
The need for blood remains constant -- every two seconds someone in the nation receives a blood transfusion, Snethen says. Blood has a shelf life of 42 days, but right now as soon as the blood is donated and tested, it is being sent straight to hospital patients. All types of blood are urgently needed to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients all summer long, especially O-negative, which is universal.
Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center hosts a blood drive by the Community Blood Center every Monday from Noon - 6:30 p.m. Advance donation appointments are highly recommended, and may be made by calling the Community Blood Center at 800.280.4102 or visiting www.save3lives.org.
Walk-in donors are welcome, but scheduling an appointment keeps the total time required for a donation to less than an hour. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, and bring a photo ID. Donors are encouraged to eat a regular meal and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating.