Start summer off by donating blood

2013-05-20T00:00:00Z 2013-05-21T17:56:18Z Start summer off by donating bloodBy Times Staff
May 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

MERRILLVILLE | With summer around the corner, and the end of the school year in sight, new and eligible blood donors are urged to help strengthen the blood supply by volunteering to give in the next few weeks.

“While summer signals rest and relaxation for a lot of us, it’s also a time we can work together to ensure blood is there for hospital patients,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.

Low blood supplies are typical from late May through September because regular donors and their families become busy with summer fun and may neglect to donate blood. At the same time, blood needs rise as increased roadway and travel-related accidents drain supplies—particularly during high travel weekends like Memorial Day. Someone seriously injured in an automobile accident, for instance, may need up to 40 units of blood for their emergency care.

Every day, patients across the U.S. need an average of 38,000 units of blood. And while that need doesn’t change with the season, the American Red Cross typically sees a dip in blood donations during the summer months.

That dip, Red Cross officials say, is partly due to high school and college students being on summer break, and not giving through regularly scheduled school drives. About 20 percent of the blood supply is donated by high school and college students.

“The need for blood never takes a vacation,” said Whitman. “We’re asking all eligible donors—including students--to remember the countless adults and children in need of blood, and to make donating blood part of their summer activities.”

From May 28 to June 2, donors who give blood through the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross will receive a cooler tote bag in celebration of Memorial Day.

Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in Lake County:

  • 2 to 7 p.m. today at Jean Shepherd Community Center in Café A and B, 3031 Mahoney Drive in Hammond.
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 29 at Farmer’s Insurance, 11410 Broadway in Crown Point. Call (219) 213-3060 or email to schedule a blood donation appointment.
  • 8:30 to 11 a.m. May 31 at State Farm Insurance, 10180 Broadway in Crown Point.

The Merrillville Donor Center, 791 E. 83rd Ave., is open from noon until 5 p.m. every Monday and from 8 a.m. until noon the first and third Saturday of each month .

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