Pharos-Tribune

July 19, 2013

OUR VIEW: Blood drives see summer slump


Pharos-Tribune

---- — By the time you’ve finished reading this editorial (assuming you’re an average reader who takes in 250 words per minute), 60 people will have needed a blood transfusion, give or take.

That’s because every 2 seconds someone needs one. You can’t hardly start and stop a timer in 2 seconds, but in that time, someone’s life is on the line. Another 2 seconds, another life.

Take a moment and think about that number in a context greater than the time it takes to read today’s paper. How many blood transfusions are needed every day? Every week? Every year?

We haven’t put a pencil to the math, but those will be some big numbers. Shocking numbers. And when you think of the many lives behind those numbers, they become scary.

What if one of those numbers was someone you loved? Statistically, it’s likely that the lives of several people reading these words depend on blood donations. What if one of those lives was yours?

It might not be you today, and it might not be your loved one tomorrow, but eventually someone you know and love will be on the receiving end of a blood transfusion.

But what if the blood you needed wasn’t available?

What if it was because too few people donated?

What if too many people got wrapped up in their summers and their vacations and put donating blood on the back burner until the fall arrives?

That last one isn’t a what if. It’s actually a reality.

Nationwide, donations to the American Red Cross were down 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 less donations than expected. A nice chunk of that is because high school and college students make up 20 percent of Red Cross donations. With school out, those donations aren’t happening.

Locally, and across the nation, the Red Cross is calling on people to give blood to ward off shrinking supplies. Your donation can save three lives. Red blood cells can be used for accident victims, platelets are used for cancer patients and plasma is used for burn victims.

We encourage anyone who can to make the time for those three lives and countless others by give blood at the drive coming July 29. You have the power to be someone’s hero.

If you go: • WHAT: American Red Cross blood drive • WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 29 • WHERE: Walmart Supercenter, 240 Mall Road • INFO: Call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. • DETAILS: A blood donor card, 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), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.