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American Red Cross blood donations drop as temperatures peak

by on July 26, 2012 12:30 PM

With extreme heat keeping some donors at home and severe storms forcing the cancellation of dozens of blood drives earlier in the month, the American Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for donors of all blood types.

If at least two additional donors give at each blood drive through the end of July — above what the American Red Cross already expects to collect — the blood supply would be sufficient to meet patient needs.

Red Cross blood donations are at the lowest they have been in 15 years. Public support from the organization’s late-June appeal helped temporarily stop a decline in the blood supply. However, the mid-week Independence Day and extreme summer weather have contributed to a decrease in donations lately.

“We cannot thank enough the blood donors who have already rolled up a sleeve this summer,” said John Hagins, CEO of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. “We appreciate the support from donors received during the current appeal. We’re encouraging all eligible donors who didn’t have a chance to give yet to step up and help patients by making an appointment, as well as those who gave earlier in the spring and are now again eligible.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. As the nation’s single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is dedicated to ensuring that every patient who needs a lifesaving transfusion is able to receive one. In fact, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood each day to meet the needs of patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply. Donors with type O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative blood are especially encouraged to give this summer.

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