Red Cross says blood donations are down

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 Sharyn Whitman, CEO, Indiana-Ohio 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.

Each day, the American Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Region needs approximately 500 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.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

• Saturday, July 13, from 8 a.m. until noon at Central Christian Church in the Family Life Center, located at 500 MacGahan St., in Huntington.

• Sunday, July 14, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Huntington National Guard Armory, located at 800 Zahn St., in Huntington.

• Wednesday, July 24, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the American Legion, located at 1122 N. Main St. in Roanoke.

• Sunday, July 28, from 7:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, located at 860 Cherry St., in Huntington. This is a Knights of Columbus blood drive.

• Wednesday, July 31, from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Pathfinder Services, located at 1152 E. State St. in Huntington.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.