Red Cross of Virginia asking for more donors during summer months
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Around the July 4th holiday, the Virginia Red Cross said they see a drop in blood, platelet, and plasma donations.
Jonathan McNamara, Communications Director with the Virginia Red Cross said so far this summer, they have seen a 20% reduction in blood drive turnouts across the state.
”During the summer months, when we see that reduction in donors, we also see an increase in demand. We have more people hitting the roadways that, unfortunately, leads to more trauma situations that our hospitals across Virginia have a higher demand for that blood,” McNamara said.
He added the donations often go down this time of year because students are out of school, so blood drives aren’t taking place on those campuses.
He said people are also distracted by the holiday and vacation season, so they don’t think about making donation appointments.
With donations going down and hurricane season upon us, the Red Cross is asking people to donate again. So, if a hurricane were to hit, they would be ahead of the game and not scrambling once disaster strikes.
”We know that when hurricanes hit communities, wherever they are in the United States, that’s gonna lead to blood drives being canceled and put a further strain on the blood supply. So, when you donate during the summer months, you’re not only helping that immediate need that’s occurring during the summer, we’re helping to build our supplies both here in Virginia and across the country,” McNamara said.
However, there are ways to help.
“Scheduling an appointment at one of our community drives in the Harrisonburg area is one of the best ways you can support the American Red Cross,” McNamara said. “Encourage your family members, coworkers, your friends to donate blood, then sharing what blood donation means to you on every one of your social media channels.”
If you can’t or don’t wish to donate, the Red Cross is always in need of volunteers as well.
“Each and every one of our blood drives in the community is only able to happen because of local volunteers. We have positions that can fit a variety of schedules,” McNamara said. “Whether it’s checking in people at blood drives, helping as a part of our process, that’s critical to our efforts to be able to support our hospitals.”
As for the blood shortage the country and Virginia faced earlier this year, McNamara said the Red Cross was able to level out that shortage because of the number of people that came out to donate, but that doesn’t mean it cant happen again.
“When we start to see a dip in what we have seen, that 20% reduction in turnout at our blood drives, that’s why we get ahead of the blood supply situation and talk to the public about the role that they play, let them know where we stand so that they can fill those appointments at our blood drives across the area,” McNamara said.
If you would like more information about the Virginia Red Cross and local blood droves happening you can visit their website.
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