American Red Cross urges donors to help fix the summer blood donation shortage

The American Red Cross needs help bringing back the A's B's and O's. For those of you who are unsure of what those letters mean,those are blood types, and with the summer here, those donations are very important.

Posted: Jul 1, 2018 7:01 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2018 9:49 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- The A, B, and O blood types are what's missing from hospital shelves.

The American Red Cross is encouraging donors of all blood types to donate now to prevent delays in patient care during the summer months.

"The colleges and high schools make up 20% of the donation base, and of course it being the summer, we're down 20% of that base. That is really creating a shortage on the shelf," American Red Cross collections supervisor Paula Laurent said.

That may seem like a small percentage, but after some research, they feel they are down 80,000 donors, and it's been that way for the past four years.

That's not just for the Red Cross. That also goes for any other blood donation center.

"A lot of people are getting a blood transfusions in the United States every two seconds, so that 80,000 donations a year is definitely starting to impact us a lot,"Laurent said.

June 14th was World Blood Donation Day which kicked off their missing blood type campaign. More than 1,000 partners of the Red Cross joined the missing type movement to draw attention to the shortage.

"Most of the country feels they need to know their blood type to donate, which is not true. You can come in we'll type it and send it to you,"she said.

It's not at a critical stage, but with holidays around the corner, it's used for a lot of auto accidents.

They're also always in need of platelets.

"That's used for the cancer patients. They need platelets sometimes 5 days after their chemo treatment,"she added.

Laurent said blood lasts 42 days, and you can only donate blood every 56 days, so they need overlapping donors. Call 1-800-Red- Cross to find your nearest donation opportunity.

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