The American Red Cross is urging individuals to donate blood as supplies throughout the Southeast have reached a critical low.
Donors of all blood types are welcome, but there is an urgent need for type O negative, B negative and A negative blood.
Donations may be made Mondays through Saturdays at the Gainesville office, 311 Jesse Jewell Parkway; phone, 770-532-8453.
Shortages often occur in summer as individual donations decrease, along with the number of organizations able to sponsor blood drives. The absence of high school and college blood drives also is a factor, as they account for approximately 20 percent of all donations.
“Collecting enough blood to meet hospitals’ needs during the summer is always a challenge,” stated Randy Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region. “This is especially true this year as many donors are also dealing with business closings, layoffs and other issues relating to our current economy. Unfortunately, the need for blood doesn’t go away.”
In the Southern Region, the Red Cross must collect 1,200 units of blood each weekday to meet the needs of hospital patients.
Eligible blood donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Donors with type O (positive and negative), B negative and A negative blood should consider an automated red cell donation, a process in which only red cells are donated.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 800-448-3543 or visit redcrossblood.org.