Red Cross in emergency need for blood donations

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The American Red Cross is urging all eligible donors to give blood as the blood supply dwindles.

Rodney Wilson, communications manager for the American Red Cross Blood Services in Central Ohio, said trauma and accidents increase during the summer, especially around the Independence Day holiday, which leads to a greater need for large amounts of blood. However, he said there are also fewer people who donate during the summer months, and regular donors may postpone giving blood because they’re on vacation.

Wilson said fewer drives are scheduled for this week because of the holiday, although some donation sites are extending their hours in hopes of replenishing the blood supply.

“I think people don’t think about, ‘Where does this blood go?’” Wilson said. “When you donate blood and you have the potential to save someone’s life, we’re talking about your neighbor who’s being treated for cancer, or a newborn mother who’s hemorrhaged, a child who has sickle-cell disease. Blood is used every single day. Every two seconds, someone’s receiving a blood transfusion.”

Nationally, the Red Cross said about 14,000 blood donations are needed every day to supply about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers. Locally, Wilson said, the Red Cross goes through about 800 pints of blood per day at more than 40 area hospitals. The need for types O-negative, A-negative and B-negative is most pressing, but all types are needed.

Wilson said the Red Cross is currently operating in a “revolving door,” with donations going out to hospitals as quickly as they’re coming in, which compromises the organization’s ability to respond to regular daily needs and major trauma situations.

Blood drives are scheduled at various locations in central Ohio throughout the summer. There are also five donation centers in the Columbus area that are open nearly every day.

For more information about donating blood in central Ohio, tap here.

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