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To donate
•The best way to donate blood to the Red Cross is to either call 1-800-Red-Cross to make an appointment or go to redcrossblood.org for more information.

Red Cross wary of 10% drop in donors

It’s summertime.

And that usually means vacations, trips to the lake, hauling the kids to Little League practice, Wildcat baseball or maybe summer school.

It also means a lot of people may be too busy to give blood.

The Red Cross of Northeast Indiana is in urgent need of blood, officials said.

“We have seen donations dip by 10 percent, and when you’re considering we’re talking about blood that is needed, for so many reasons, 10 percent is not a small figure,” said Karen Kelley, communications director for the local Red Cross.

Kelley said that 10 percent drop is what’s being given in June and July compared with what’s normal throughout the rest of the year.

Officials with the Red Cross saw a similar drop last year.

“We’re especially looking for Type O-negative blood or for platelet donors,” Kelley said.

Platelets can be used to help cancer patients going through radiation or chemotherapy, Kelley said.

After being taken from the body, platelets have a shelf life of only five days, which is why they are in high demand from donors. The Indiana-Ohio region of the Red Cross consists of 52 counties in northern and central Indiana and seven in northwestern Ohio.

Within these counties, there are 68 hospitals that need to see at least 500 donors a day to keep the blood supply up, Kelley said.

“Then when you look at a 10 percent drop, that’s 50 donors a day,” she said. “It’s getting concerning.”

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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