Red Cross donations are down

Red Cross donations are down
(Source: WTOL)

LUCAS COUNTY (WTOL) - This week's flooding is a somewhat gentle reminder that we're headed into the time of year when natural disasters are at the highest.

"We can't manufacture blood, and we are still responsible for 40% of the nation's blood supply. You know, somebody needs blood every 2 seconds nationwide. So it is vitally important that we make sure the blood is there on the shelves," Rachel Hepner-Zwaodny, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio, Ohio Buckeye Region said.

If you know that you're a rare blood type and you have not donated in the past 56 days, the Red Cross is asking you to come on by.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply, and even if you don't know your blood type, you can donate and the Red Cross will provide you with a card that tells you.

There's incentives involved right now too, including t-shirts, Cedar Point tickets, and of course, there's always snacks.

"We do usually have a goal, but our goal mainly is to get every donor who walks through the door. Today it's been kind of slow, but anything is better than nothing,"  Corey Brown, Phlebotomist at the Executive Parkway donation center said.

The blood donor base is shrinking.

In fact, WTOL 11 showed up to the donor center on Executive Parkway Wednesday to find no donors at all.

"Over the past couple of years, we're losing roughly 80,000 new donors per year for various reasons, but summertime is tough. Summertime is tough because people vacation and schools aren't in session so when we typically would have college drives or high school drives, it's just a very slow season for us. So, we're always in need, but right now, specifically, we are definitely in more need than usual," said Hepner-Zwaodny.

Each day, blood and platelets are needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

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