Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donors

Posted Online: July 09, 2013, 10:22 am
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Press release submitted by Ben Corey

Blood donations down about 10 percent in June

PEORIA, Ill. (July 9, 2013) – The American Red Cross issued an emergency request for platelet andblood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give because many fewer donations than expectedwere 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 ShellyHeiden, CEO for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. "Every two seconds, someonein the U.S. needs blood. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for these patients inNationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting inabout 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experiencedJune can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regulardonors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drivesaccount for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year. Donations from thosewho usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer. Inaddition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled inearly July. Many sponsors, especially businesses, were unable to host drives because employees tookextended vacations.

The Red Cross urgently needs donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patientsall summer long. Each day, the American Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region needsapproximately 500 blood donations. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negativeblood are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can betransfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rhpositive or negative patients.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood oftenneeded by cancer patients - must be transfused within five days of donation, so it's important to have asteady supply of platelets on hand.

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities

Henry County

July 9 from 1:30-5 p.m. at St. Patrick's Church, 201 First St. in Colona, Ill.
July 10 from 2-6 p.m. at First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St. in Kewanee, Ill.
July 11 from 2-6 p.m. at St. John's Vianney Church, 313 S. West St. in Cambridge, Ill.
July 23 from 1-6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 214 NW Second Ave. in Galva, Ill.

Mercer County

July 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at VFW Hall, 106 SW Third Ave. in Aledo, Ill.

Muscatine County

July 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Menasha Packaging, 3206 Hershey Ave. in Muscatine, Iowa
July 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at U.S. Bank, 1800 Park Ave. in Muscatine, Iowa

Whiteside County

July 9 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.
July 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Red Cross, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.
July 11 from 3-8 p.m. at Tampico United Methodist Church, 202 Lincoln Ave. in Tampico, Ill.
July 16 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.
July 16 from 12-6 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 200 W. Lincolnway in Morrison, Ill.
July 17 from 2-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.
July 19 from 1-5 p.m. at Northland Mall, 2900 E. Lincolnway in Sterling, Ill.
July 23 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment orfor more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donorcard or driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals whoare 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are ingenerally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 yearsof 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 internationalhumanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-forprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to performits mission. The Red Cross is supported in part through generous financial donations from the UnitedWay. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


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