Blood donations needed as supplies drop
by Anna Oakes
“There is an emergency need for donors this summer,” the American Red Cross said in a statement.
The organization's blood supply saw a brief recovery in late June after a national appeal for donors, but various circumstances, including employee vacations, blood drive cancellations due to summer storms and extreme heat, have led to diminished quantities.
“Thousands of blood donations are needed each and every day to help treat accident victims, cancer patients, children with blood disorders and others,” the statement said.
“These patients rely on lifesaving blood products during their treatment. Those whose lives may be touched by your generosity will be forever grateful,” the news release said.
While all blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply, donors with type O-negative, O-positive, A-negative or B-negative are especially encouraged to give at this time, the Red Cross said.
Eligible donors with types O-positive and negative, B-negative and A-negative blood are encouraged to donate “double red cells” where available.
The Double Red Cell program allows donors to give two units of red cells during one appointment.
“Please consider asking our staff about making a double red cell donation,” the organization said.
Individuals who are 17 years of age, 16 with parental permission, 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.
Call (800) 733-2767 or go online to redcrossblood.org for more information and to make a blood donation appointment.
To become a blood drive sponsor or volunteer in Watauga County, contact Revonda Wood, donor recruitment representative (Carolina Blood Services Region), at (336) 413-3286.