The Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross said they are facing a blood shortage and are asking people to donate as soon as possible.
Officials with Red Cross said donations have "have fallen short of expectations" over the last two months, which has caused 61,000 fewer donations. The shortfall is equal to the Red Cross "not collecting any blood donations for more than four days."
“It’s crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood,” Kelly Isenor, communications manager of the Connecticut Blood Services Region, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The shortage isn't just in Connecticut but nationwide. Connecticut is seeing 467 fewer donations from May to June. At the Farmington Red Cross location, they usually collect 40 units of blood. That's from 40 people during their Wednesday blood drive. On July 5, they've had only 30 appointments.
"The need for blood is constant and every two seconds someone in the US needs blood and blood can't be stockpiled," Stefanie Arcanglo, who is a spokesperson for the American Red Cross, said.
Around the Fourth of July, donations are down because there are fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives at places of work, worship or community gathering. Officials with Red Cross said "this year is no exception" and less than 700 blood drives are scheduled before and after the holiday.
Here is a list of upcoming blood drivers in the Greater Hartford area:
Saturday, July 8th:
Sunday ,July 9th:
Monday, July 10th:
Tuesday, July 11th:
Wednesday, July 12th:
Thursday, July 13th:
Friday, July 14th:
“Every day, blood and platelet donors can help save lives, and right now these heroes are needed to give as soon as possible," Isenor said.
Officials with Red Cross said, "the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they vacation and participate in summer activities."
Each pint of blood can save up to three lives, but they only last so long. Red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days, while platelets last five days.
"The need for blood is constant. On average, the Red Cross needs to collect about 14,000 units of blood each day to meet hospital patient needs," Arcanglo said.
Officials with Red Cross said in a survey of their donors, "more than 73 percent indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after Independence Day."
The Red Cross has also added in more appointment slots. To donate, click here or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
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