RALEIGH — The American Red Cross issued an emergency call for platelet and blood donations of all types on Tuesday, after receiving fewer donations than expected last month and the first week of July.
The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region needs about 1,600 donors each week day to sustain patient needs, said Lu Esposito, the Triangle’s Red Cross communications officer.
“We just like to keep the supply at a certain level. That keeps us prepared for any eventuality in which we may need blood,” Esposito said. “It is vacation time. June and July are always challenging times to collect blood.”
During summer months, regular donors delay giving as their summer schedules change and high school and college blood drives end. Nationwide, blood donations to the Red Cross were down about 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The Red Cross experienced a similar shortfall in June 2012.
The Red Cross has a number of donation centers throughout North Carolina and the Triangle. To make an appointment, call 1-800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed, but especially types O negative, A negative and B negative.
To donate, someone must present a blood donor card or driver’s license, be at least 17 years old or 16 with parental permission, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements and people of all ages must meet certain medical criteria, found on redcrossblood.org.