Summer's annual blood shortage at critical stage, Red Cross says

06 July, 2017, 00:26 | Author: Garry Little
  • Red Cross calls for donations amid blood shortage

A critical blood shortage across the U.S.is prompting American Red Cross officials to sound the alarm.

"The decline in summer donations is causing a significant draw-down of our overall blood supply, and we urgently need people to give now to restock hospital shelves and help save lives", said Shaun Gilmore, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. Donations are down 61,000 under projections, marking an equivalent of the Red Cross collecting zero donations for more than four days.

We are speaking with a trauma physician at Palmetto Health Richland about the importance of blood donations during traumatic emergencies, as well as taking a look at the blood bank inside the hospital to see just how desperately those donations are needed.

"For a first-time donor, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a good breakfast", said Red Cross blood donor Chris Hunt. "We rely on volunteer donors, and so the blood is used to treat cancer patients, trauma patients, organ transplants, burn victims, you name it".

Caution urged in Caribbean over potential tropical depression
It's a bit unusual for Atlantic storms to form this early, as they usually pass through in August and September, forecasters say. The unnamed disturbance with showers and thunderstorms is almost stationary about 700 West-Southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.

Those interested in donating can make an appointment at the redcrossblood.org or at 1-800-733-2767.

"Nearly 700 fewer blood drives are scheduled during the Independence Day week than in the weeks before and after the holiday", the Red Cross said in a news release on Wednesday.

Donation appointments are encouraged to reduce possible wait times at blood donation sites.

If you would like to donate blood, come out to our station at 2807 Hershberger Road today. Additionally, summer vacations can disrupt plans for regular blood and platelet donors.

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