ALBANY, N.Y. – Fewer donations than expected were received in June, so the American Red Cross has issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types.
"We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now," said Donna M. Morrissey, Director, Communications, American Red Cross Blood Services – Northeast Division. "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."
Though donations are typically provided less often in summer months than the remainder of the year, the organization was still down an estimated 10 percent in June and the first week of July at locations nationwide.
In order to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients throughout the summer, the Red Cross is requesting that volunteers roll up their sleeves and donate in the upcoming weeks. 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.
The Red Cross here is also advised that there is 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.
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.
To donate call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.
To find a donation center near you based on your zip code, click on the link below: