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Red Cross facing blood shortage


August 22. 2013 5:54PM
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LIMA — There was a nearly 10 percent decrease in blood donations in June, leading the American Red Cross to ask donors to consider sharing their platelets and blood.


Nationwide, there were an estimated 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June, similar to what the Red Cross saw in June 2012, according to a statement from the American Red Cross. It’s a difficult month for donations, as high school and college blood drives take the summer off, and regular donors take a break for vacations.


The Ohio State University-Lima/Rhodes State College campus and the University of Northwestern Ohio locally will try to reverse that trend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 24 as they’ll each sponsor blood drives.


“We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO of the American Red Cross’s Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region said in a written statement. “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.”


The American Red Cross needs 500 donors to give blood each day in its Indiana-Ohio Blood Region. It needs all types of blood, but donors with O-negative, B-negative and A-negative blood are especially sought as they can be transfused more easily. Type O negative, for instance, can be given to anyone who needs blood.


There’s also a need for platelets, especially since the key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients must be transferred within five days of donation, so stockpiling it is difficult.


Every day, hospitals use 39,000 blood donations nationally to help with serious diseases, accidents or trauma, according to the American Red Cross.


“Any disaster, man-made or natural, can result in people being injured and needing blood,” Whitman said. “While people often join together to help after a disaster, it’s just as important to be organized and prepared today for when disaster strikes.”




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