By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — Although summer months are usually a time for vacations from work or school, the need for blood never takes a vacation, an American Red Cross spokeswoman says.
The American Red Cross issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to give because fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July, according to a press release from the Red Cross.
Nationwide, donations were down 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 donations than expected, the release read.
Locally, 1,676 units of blood were collected in Cass County from July 1, 2012, to June 30 of this year, according to Sarah Moss, the local donor recruiter.
“We’re looking to grow the number we collect locally,” said Moss, who lives in Logansport. “The blood donated here stays here unless there is a national emergency.”
Summer months are always hard, according to Moss. High school and college students makes up 20 percent of Red Cross donations.
“People get busy with family vacations, sports and kind of forget to donate during the summer months,” Moss said.
Each day, the American Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Region needs about 500 donors to give blood. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give, the press release said.
Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion, Moss said.
“A lot of people don’t realize it saves three lives,” Moss said. “Red blood cells can be used for accident victims, platelets are used for cancer patients and plasma is used for burn victims.”
The Red Cross donates 100 percent of the blood Logansport Memorial Hospital uses, Moss said.
“Logansport Memorial Hospital is very supportive and we’re appreciative because there are other places the hospital could get its blood,” Moss said. “They’re also supportive with hosting blood drives.”
Logansport Memorial Hospital has never had an emergency with or been denied blood donations, said Dave Ameen, CEO and president of the hospital.
Ameen said hospitals affected are most likely hospitals with large trauma centers.
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. 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.