Blood donations lagging during summer months

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Red Cross estimates that one unit of blood donated from one person can save up to three lives. The agency is urging people to donate.

“Every year on holidays, we see a sharp decline in blood donations, typically a little over 20 percent,” said Regional Communications Manager for the Red Cross Hyacinth Rucker.

Type “O” Negative is the most common type of blood needed for transfusions; when the blood type of the person receiving the donation is unknown. However, only 7 percent of population have type O.

“People need blood not only for accidents, but for cancer patients and surgeries,” said Rucker.

The Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African-Americans for the sickle-cell trait. This will help the Red Cross identify more compatible blood types to help patients with sickle cell disease.

“It’s important for us to always have blood on the shelves. It takes a process after you give blood — to make sure that blood is safe and able to give to that person — that’s why we ask people to give blood all the time so that blood is always available for anyone who may need it,” said Rucker.

Potential donors will receive a health screening and will need to bring an ID before donating.

For information on how to donate: Click Here.