December 22, 2014

American Red Cross calling on donors to prevent possible blood shortage

Donors can use #chooseyourday on Twitter to raise Awareness for the American Red Cross (Image: American Red Cross)

Donors can use #chooseyourday on Twitter to raise awareness for the American Red Cross (Image: American Red Cross)

The American Red Cross is calling on donors to help prevent a possible emergency blood shortage.

According to South Carolina Blood Services Region spokesperson Krystal Overmyer, blood donations are down significantly over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations nationwide.

Overmyer says the summer months are always a hard time for the charitable organization to collect enough blood to meet patient needs.

“In the summertime people are on vacation and they’re travelling,” Overmyer told South Carolina Radio Network. “Our regular donors aren’t able to come in as often because of that. Also, high schools and colleges are out for the summer and we get a lot of donations through high school and college drives.”

The Red Cross is encouraging blood and platelet donors of all blood types in order to stop any possibility of a shortage.

“One of the ways we can avert that situation is making sure we have enough type O negative, B negative, and A negative blood on the shelves, so we’re encouraging donors of all types to come forward now,” Overmyer said.

Overmyer also mentioned the Red Cross is getting word out to donors who have given in the past and through social media.

“We’re encouraging donors to when they do donate, encourage their friends and family to donate and post a selfie on their Facebook page or Twitter page and use the hashtag #givenow or #chooseyourday,” Overmyer said.

Overmyer emphasized blood can only come from donors and must be transfused within 56 days after donating. Platelets…a clotting componenet in blood…must be transfused within five days after donation.

Patrick Ingraham filed this report.