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Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donors

Blood donations down about 10 percent in June

The American Red Cross issued an emergency request 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. “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.” 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. How to Donate Blood - Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.  Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities: New Hanover County Wilmington Blood Center (1102 South 16th St.). Monday: 1pm – 6pm, Wednesday: 11:30am – 4:30pm, Friday: 8:00 am – 1:30pm, and 2nd Sunday of month 12pm – 4:30pm; 7/10  NHRMC   9am-1:30pm at 2131 South 17th. Street, Wilmington; 7/11  Cape Fear Hospital11am-3pm at 5301 Wrightsville, Wilmington; 7/15  St Mark Catholic Church  2-6:30pm on 1011 Eastwood Rd., Wilmington; 7/18  Church of the Servant   10am-2:30pm at 4925 Oriole Drive, Wilmington; 7/22  Lowe's Home Improvement   10am-2:30pm at 5110 College Road, Wilmington; 7/29  Masonic Lodge 753 from 2-6:30pm at 415 Harper Avenue, Carolina Beach; 7/31  Parsley Elementary-In Memory of  Zack Mayo from 1:30-7pm at 3518 Masonboro Loop Road, Wilmington; 8/13  Liberty Commons Nursing & Rehabilitation  2-6pm at 121 Racine Drive, Wilmington; 8/19   Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church from 1:45-6:15pm at 1401 South College Road, Wilmington; 8/30 - WECT/WSFX from 9am-1:30pm at 322 Shipyard Blvd., Wilmington.