0

Red Cross says urgent need for donations continues

CONYERS — In the face of an urgent need for blood and platelet donations, the American Red Cross is encouraging residents to roll up a sleeve and give.

The Red Cross issued an emergency call for blood donations on July 9 after seeing about 50,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than expected in June. Donations have increased by about 15 percent since the emergency call, said Kristen Stancil, media contact for the Red Cross, but the middle and end of July mark only the halfway point to the challenging summer months.

Stancil said summer months are always a difficult time to solicit donations.

“Historically we do see our donations decline during the summer months,” she said. “It’s always a challenging time for us to collect enough blood because people are busy with their summer activities.”

Stancil also said the academic calendar contributes to the challenge.

“Twenty percent of our blood donations come from high schools and colleges during the academic year,” she said. “When those students are out of school, they are not donating as they would during the year.”

According to the Red Cross, an urgent need continues for platelet donors as well as donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.

“We are grateful to the donors who have rolled up a sleeve to give blood or platelets to the Red Cross in the last couple of weeks, but our work is not over,”” said Jerry J.K. Tillery, chief executive officer, Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region. ““The need for blood is constant. As July comes to a close and August begins, we ask eligible donors to please give blood or platelets as soon as possible.””

According to the Red Cross, blood and platelets are needed for many reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients and organ transplant patients, as well as those receiving treatment for cancer or sickle cell disease, may depend on lifesaving transfusions. Each day, the Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region needs approximately 1,200 donors to step forward and give blood.

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give double red cells where available. Type O negative blood is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative blood can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

Anyone interested to making a donation can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Following is a list of some of the blood drives scheduled in this area in the coming weeks:

• July 29, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

St. Augustine Catholic Church

11524 U.S. Highway 278 East

Covington, GA 30014

Donation Types: Blood

• July 29, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

East Ridge Community Church

863 Ga. Highway 142 East

Covington, GA 30014

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood

• Aug. 20, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Kroger 214 Covington

3139 U.S. Highway 278 NE

Covington, GA 30014

Donation Types: Blood

• Aug. 22, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

General Mills — Covington

15200 Industrial Park Blvd. NE

Covington, GA 30014

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood

• Aug. 28, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Troy University — Covington

1160 Monticello St.

Covington, GA 30014

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood

• Aug. 29, 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Covington

1139 Usher St.

Covington, GA 30014

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood

• Aug. 29, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Union United Methodist Church

4600 Highway 138 SW

Stockbridge, GA 30281

Donation Types: Blood

• Sept. 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

American Legion Post 77

674 American Legion Drive

Conyers, GA 30012

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood

• Sept. 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Rockdale Medical Center East Tower

1412 Milstead Ave.

Conyers, GA 30012

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood

• Sept. 6, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Covington Badges for Life

Newton County Fire Department Headquarters

4136 U.S. Highway 278 NE

Covington, GA 30014

Donation Types: Blood

• Sept. 9, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Conyers First United Methodist Church

921 N. Main St.

Conyers, GA 30012

Donation Types: Blood

• Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Oxford College

100 Hammill St.

Oxford, GA 30054

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood

• Sept. 14, 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Conyers

2100 Ga. Highway 138

Conyers, GA 30013

Donation Types: Double Red Cells, Blood