By Jenny Contreras, intern contributor
During the summer, there is a shortage in blood donations at the American Red Cross. There are numerous reasons why there’s a shortage such as donor’s going on vacation or school’s, the prime hosts for blood drives, are out. To meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion across the country, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 blood donations every day. During the summer, on average, about two fewer donors schedule an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. If you add that up, that’s more than 100,000 fewer donations during the season. If you’ve been considering donating, now is the time to do so! If you’re iffy on donating because you’re afraid of needles (and you’re not alone), here are seven reasons why you should donate:
7. About 44,000 pints of blood are needed in the U.S. every day. That’s a lot of blood!
6. Platelets only have a shelf life of five days. Platelets help prevent massive blood loss by helping blood to clot. They’re also critical for cancer patients, organ transplant patients and surgery patients.
5. Less than 38% of the population is eligible to give blood. Of that small percentage that is eligible donate blood, only 8% actually donate.
4. Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. That means almost everyone will know someone in their lifetime that has needed blood.
3. Juice and cookies. Need we say more?!
2. You get to #chooseyourday! It’ll be best to download the free Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment.
1. You get to be a hero. One pint of blood can save up to 3 lives!
To be eligible to donate you must be the following:
- Be at least 17 years old (16 for whole blood with signed Red Cross parental consent form where the state permits).
- Weight at least 110 lbs.
- High school students and other donors 18 years or younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
- Be in good health.
Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for more information. If you cannot donate blood, a financial contribution to your local Red Cross Blood Services will go a long way in saving someone’s life. We appreciate your generosity!