Red Cross asks for summer blood, platelet donations

The American Red Cross is launching a national campaign encouraging eligible donors to donate blood and platelets in the midst of an anticipated summer shortage.

Kristen Stancil, communication manager at the Red Cross, said blood and platelet donations are at their lowest during summer months and the holidays, and there may be 100,000 fewer donations this summer than what patients need.

"One donation could save three lives," Stancil said.

The shortage is due in part to the vacation plans and summer activities of college and high school students, who Stancil said make up 20 percent of blood collected during the school year.

"Patients don’t get a summer holiday from needing lifesaving blood and platelet donations and are counting on generous volunteers to help maintain a sufficient supply this summer,” said Donna Morrissey, director of national partnerships for the Red Cross Biomedical services, in a press release issued by the Red Cross.

The campaign starts Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend. As an incentive, donors will be given Red Cross-themed items such as T-shirts, bandages and lunch coolers while supplies last. Suburban Propane is the official sponsor of the campaign.

For information on the Red Cross, times and places to donate and requirements to give blood, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

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