Red Cross appeals for blood

Published 9:51 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The American Red Cross needs people to roll up their sleeves and give blood, as the arrival of summer is expected to have a negative impact on much-needed supplies.

During June, July and August, an average two fewer donors per blood drive schedule an appointment to give blood than what’s needed to keep up supplies, according to Red Cross spokeswoman Kristen Hatfield.

“Up to 20 percent of blood is given by high school and college students, and when they are on summer break, you feel that,” Hatfield said.

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She also pointed to the extreme heat, which can keep people inside under the air conditioning, as having a negative impact on supplies.

Also, according to Hatfield, many people forget about giving blood while they hit the beach or take to the road on vacations.

Mike Duman Auto Sales at 2300 Godwin Blvd. will be the location of a blood drive in Suffolk 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Hatfield pointed out that it’s air-conditioned.

Folks are encouraged to make an appointment by visiting or calling 1-800-733-2767, while walk-ins will also be welcomed.

With premature babies, trauma patients, cancer sufferers and routine surgery requiring it, America’s need for blood never stops. A trauma patient can need as much as 100 pints, Hatfield said, and the average transfusion is about three pints.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, Hatfield said.

As an added incentive, thanks to Suburban Propane, every donor at Mike Duman Auto Sales on Friday — when the American Red Cross and ABC 13 are teaming up for their annual Savings Lives Blood Drive — will receive a $10 Visa gift card.

“I’m hoping it will encourage people to come out and donate,” Hatfield said. “We are heading into the Fourth of July weekend, which is very difficult.”

According to Page Gambill, American Red Cross CEO of the Mid-Atlantic region, “Blood donations are needed every day for patients with many serious medical conditions, so it is crucial that we keep the blood supply at our hospitals well stocked.”

All blood types are needed, but particularly O negative, A negative and B negative.