Posted: Jul 9, 2013 11:09 AM
After receiving fewer donations than expected in June and the beginning of July, the American Red Cross has issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donations.
While the organization is asking for donations of all blood types, it is especially encouraging people with O negative, B negative and A negative blood to give.
Nationwide, Red Cross donations were down about 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," according to a news release from the Red Cross.
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 a steady supply is needed.