Blood Donations Down

By WEEK Producer

August 17, 2010 Updated Aug 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM CDT

Blood donations through the local American Red Cross Blood Services Region have been declining this summer and supplies are currently less than sufficient.

The recent heat wave may be a factor.

All blood types are needed to ensure blood supplies do not drop to emergency levels.

It only takes an hour to help save a life by donating blood.

“Summer blood donors can mean the difference between an adequate blood supply and a shortage,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO of the Heart of America Red Cross Blood Services Region. “The Red Cross is currently meeting hospital and patient needs, however, we are concerned that this downward trend in donations could continue.”

Extreme heat experienced throughout the region lately may be contributing to fewer donations.

Donors with elevated temperatures are temporarily deferred from donating for their safety and that of the patient(s) who may receive their blood.

In addition, some donation appointments were cancelled by those not wanting to venture out into the extreme heat.

Approximately every two seconds a patient in the Unites States needs a blood transfusion.

Eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types are asked to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible to help ensure blood supplies do not drop to emergency levels.

Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

WEEK/WHOI/WAOE will also hold a blood drive on August 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Fon du Lac Administration Center, 201 South Veterans Drive in East Peoria.

Drive is held in room L & M, and every presenting donor will receive a $5.00 Wal-Mart gift card and a coupon for one medium size cone from M & M Twistee Treat!

A blood donor card or 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 in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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