Blood boost:Donors needed to maintain sufficient supply of blood

6/23/2014

The American Red Cross always stands ready to respond to unexpected emergencies.

The American Red Cross always stands ready to respond to unexpected emergencies.

At the same time, the organization also knows to expect certain serious situations each year.

Such is the case when summer rolls around.

The demand for blood tends to intensify as more people travel for vacations. Outdoor activity-related accidents leading to patients needing blood also are more common during summer.

And, with more people on vacation, it can be a slow time for blood donations. Between June and August, on average, two fewer donors contribute at every Red Cross blood drive than what hospitals need.

Shortages could be averted if more people took the time to donate. An estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 10 percent actually step up each year.

Someone needs blood every two seconds in the United States. While all blood types are being sought to ensure a reliable supply for patients, there's a particular need for types O negative, B negative and A negative.

Blood recipients of all ages may be cancer patients, organ transplant recipients or someone injured in an accident, among others.

Opportunities to help arrive this week with area blood drives:

* 1 to 7 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church, 1106 N. Main St., Garden City

* Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the William Carpenter Building, 606 North Fairground Road, Scott City

* 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the American Legion Post, 202 Santa Fe St., Copeland

* Noon to 4 p.m. Thursday at the 4-H Building, 905 Ingalls Ave., Tribune

* 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church, 101 S. Carter St., Leoti

Prospective donors also may call (800) RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment.

Giving blood is safe and easy, and only takes about one hour — a small sacrifice to make such a positive impact.

People who do take time out of their busy lives to help others deserve our thanks and praise — and not just during critical times, but year-round. They are indeed lifesavers.

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