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(July 9, 2013) –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.
June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year. Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer. In addition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors, especially businesses, were unable to host drives because employees took extended vacations.
The Red Cross urgently needs donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients all summer long. 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:
- Wednesday, July 10 from 1pm - 7pm at Grace Fellowship Church located at 1424 8th SE in DeMotte.
· Friday, July 12, from 10:30 a.m. until noon at City Hall Valparaiso, located at 166 Lincolnway in Valparaiso.
· Friday, July 12, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Portage Avenue Baptist Church, located at 6605 Portage Ave. in Portage.
· Saturday, July 13, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Harley-Davidson, located at 1151 U.S. Highway 30 in Valparaiso.
· Tuesday, July 16, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Liberty Bible Church in the gymnasium, located at 824 N. Calumet Ave. in Chesterton.
· Wednesday, July 17, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Heritage Lutheran Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 308 Washington St. in Valparaiso.
· Thursday, July 18, from noon until 4 p.m. at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the Ranger Station Conference Room, located at 1100 N. Mineral Springs Road in Porter.
· Monday, July 22, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Williamsburg on the Lake Apartments, located at 2810 Winchester Drive in Valparaiso.
· Tuesday, July 23, from 2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Faith Memorial Lutheran Church, located at 753 N. Calumet in Valparaiso.
· Tuesday, July 23, from 2 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 202 W. Church St. in Hebron.
· Wednesday, July 24, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, located at 3100 Ivy Tech Drive in Valparaiso.
· Friday, July 26, from 1:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Portage in the Fellowship Hall, located at 2637 McCool Road in Portage.
· Sunday, July 28, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Chapel Hall, located at 638 N. Calumet Road in Chesterton.
· Monday, July 29, from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in the Social Hall, located at 6540 Central Ave. in Portage.
· Tuesday, July 30, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in The Gathering Space, located at 505 Bullseye Lake Road in Valparaiso.
· Wednesday, July 31, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Duneland Falls Banquet Center, located at 1100 N. Max Mochal Highway in Chesterton. This blood drive is sponsored by USW 6787 Union Chesterton.
· Wednesday, July 31, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Arnell Motors, located at 241 Melton Road in Burns Harbor.
How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), 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 and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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