Why the Red Cross Is Asking Americans to Donate Blood

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Currents News Staff

It’s that time of year again: as summer heats up, the level of blood donations in the U.S. goes down.

“In June alone we saw a 12% decline in donations,” said Rodney Wilson from the American Red Cross, “which is very significant and more than we have seen in many, many months.”

Summer months are always a struggle for blood collection. That’s because as travelers head out for vacations, blood drives can’t be hosted at schools, and people tend to make less time to donate.

The pandemic also hasn’t helped, says Wilson.

“Lots of factors related to COVID continue to make it hard for us to collect enough blood,” said Wilson.

The American Red Cross says whole blood is the flexible type of donation because it can be transfused in its original form, or separated into red cells, plasma and platelets to help multiple people.

It is often given to trauma patients or those having surgery.

“The need for blood can come up unexpectedly and suddenly at any time,” said Wilson.

Wilson says more donors of all blood types are needed to prevent typical summer shortages.

“On average, the Red Cross needs to collect close to 13,000 blood donations every single day to support patients at 2,500 hospitals across the country,” Wilson said.

He says it only takes about an hour of your time to help others.

If you want to find out more about a blood donation center near you, or schedule an appointment, just log onto REDCROSS.ORG or call 1-800-Red-Cross.