Red Cross in Desperate Need -- Kicks Off Largest Drive in History - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Red Cross in Desperate Need -- Kicks Off Largest Drive in History

The local American Red Cross Blood Region is still struggling to rebuild their blood inventory and with four blood types at less than a day supply, which include O negative, O positive and B negative, the Red Cross is worried they will continue to only be able to partially fill hospital orders.

"There are many factors contributing to the severe blood shortage in the region," said Bonnie Meridieth, Senior Director of Donor Services.  "Blood donations frequently take a back seat to other summer activities, vacations and holidays.  High schools and colleges represent about 20 percent of the regions' blood supply and these donations drastically drop during the summer months.  We also experience a severe decline in corporations holding blood drives during the summer which affects our blood supply," said Meridieth.

Anyone can find a quick trip to the store or a family vacation cut short by a wreck on busy highways, but there's another way holiday traffic accidents can affect everyone. Because the high demand for donated blood to treat accident victims drains the supply for all patients.

Despite concentrated efforts to recruit more blood and platelet donors the Red Cross is taking the next step to increase awareness of the need for these donors by offering a summer sweepstakes with a grand prize being a 2007 Chevy Cobalt from Dave White Chevrolet. Everyone who comes to donate blood between June 1 - September 3 can enter to win.

Donors are encouraged to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or log onto www.givebloodtoday.org and make a blood donation appointment today.

All those who are eligible to donate both blood and platelets are urged to do so as soon as possible. To donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health and provide a valid photo ID upon donation.

For information on blood drives call the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit www.givebloodtoday.org

Source: American Red Cross

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