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Red Cross: Blood supply still on lower levels, expecting decreased donations during summer season

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 3:01 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - In February, the American Red Cross reported a 41% decrease in first-time blood donors over the course of the pandemic.

Although the pandemic has winded down and the number of donors in recent months has slightly increased, the organization says summer is yet another season for low turnout.

“Nationwide we provide about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. And at this time of year people forget the importance of donating blood it’s fogged with the idea of fun but what we are trying to remind people is it’s important to give blood all year round,” Executive Director of the Red Cross Central Virginia Chapter Bill Brent said.

Brent says there have been efforts both through the organization and incentives from businesses to increase donations and opportunities to do so. Donors who give by June 30th are eligible for a $5 e-gift card.

According to Red Cross, up to three lives can be saved by a one-pint donation, emphasizing the importance of providing a solid supply of plasma, platelets, and whole blood cells.

“Over the last two and a half years we’ve seen people really step up in creative ways to help us continue to collect that important blood supply. That is critical again to cancer patients, sickle cell patients, trauma patients, and newborns who were born early in NICU units,” Brent explained.

Some tips for finding ways you can help out by donating or volunteering can be found here.

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