American Red Cross issues urgent call for WNC blood and platelet donors

Here’s the press release from the Red Cross:

Blood donations needed now to prevent emergency situation

ASHEVILLE, NC (July 22, 2014) – The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.

In addition, the Independence Day holiday falling on Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors did not host drives because people took vacations either over the long weekend or for the entire week. In an average summer week, about 4,400 Red Cross blood drives are scheduled, compared to Independence Day week when only 3,450 drives occurred.

“Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer, and they’re relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead,” said Sharon Pitt, CEO for the Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. “Please, consider giving the gift of life. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for patients in need – and you never know when it could be your loved one needing blood.”

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.

The summer can be among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they take vacations and participate in summer activities. When school is out of session for summer break, donations from those who normally give on campus tend to drop by more than 80 percent.
Every day this summer is a chance to give hope to patients in need and their network of family and friends. July 13 marked the half-way point for the Red Cross campaign “100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.” Blood and platelet donations are needed now and for the rest of the summer. Individuals who donated blood earlier this summer may now be eligible to donate again and help patients such as accident victims, heart surgery patients and children with blood disorders.
Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities by County, Tuesday, July 22 – Sunday, Aug. 10:
Buncombe County
Aug. 4 from 12:30 – 5 p.m. at Chili’s Bar & Grill, 420 Airport Road

July 22 from 2 – 7 p.m. at Skyland United Methodist Church, 1984 Hendersonville Road
July 25 from 7:30 a.m. – noon at Rueter Family YMCA, 3 Town Square Blvd.
July 29 from 2:30 – 7 p.m. at Beverly Hills Baptist Church, 777 Tunnel Road
July 30 from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Biltmore Church of Christ, 823 Fairview St.
July 31 from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Premier Federal Credit Union, 148 Charlotte St.
Aug. 3 from 12:30 – 5 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 531 Haywood Road
Aug. 7 from noon – 5 p.m. Chili’s Bar & Grill, 253 Tunnel Road
Aug. 8 from 7 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Charles George V.A. Medical Center, 1100 Tunnel Road
Aug. 8 from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Charles George V.A. Medical Center, 1100 Tunnel Road

Black Mountain
July 24 from 12:30 – 5 p.m. at Black Mountain Neuro Medical Treatment Center, 932 Old U.S. Highway 70
July 24 from 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Conference Center – Pritchell Hall, 1 Ridgecrest Dr.
Aug. 7 from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, 117 Montreat Road

July 25 from 2 – 6:30 p.m. at Enka Fire Dept, 85 Pisgah Highway

July 22 from noon – 4:30 p.m. at Big Lots Weaverville, 130 Weaver Blvd.
Aug. 1 from 2:30 – 7 p.m. at The Carpenter’s Heart, 21 Flat Creek Church Road
Haywood County
July 29 from 2 – 6:30 p.m. at Town of Canton Armory, 71 Penland St.

Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. MedWest Health & Fitness Center-Classrooms, 75 Leroy George Road

Aug. 7 from 1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 566 South Haywood St.
Henderson County
Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Etowah Lions Club, 447 Etowah School Road

July 26 from 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Fletcher United Methodist Church, 6140 Hendersonville Highway

July 23 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Opportunity House, 1411 Asheville Highway
July 25 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Liberty Tax Service, 152 Henderson Crossing Plaza
July 25 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Egolf Motors, 401 Duncan Hill Road
July 28 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at YMCA Hendersonville, 810 6th Ave. W.
Aug. 1 from 1 – 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church – Hendersonville, 312 5th Ave. West
Aug. 4 from noon – 4:30 p.m. at Camping World, 2918 North Rugby Road
Aug. 6 from 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 204 6th Ave. West
Aug. 8 from 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. State Employees Credit Union, 215 North Washington St.
Jackson County
July 24 from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Cashiers Community, 355 Frank Allen Road

July 29 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Southwestern Community Coll – Bradford Hall, 447 College Dr.
Aug. 1 from 1 – 5:30 p.m. at Jackson County Department on Aging, 100 County Services Park
Macon County
Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Macon County Public Library, 149 Siler Farm Road
Aug. 5 from 2:30 – 7 p.m. at Macon County Public Library, 149 Siler Farm Road
Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Mountain Valley Fire Department, 188 Echo Valley Road
Madison County
Mars Hill
July 25 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Mars Hill Elementary School, 200 School House Lane
McDowell County
July 24 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at McDowell Tech College, 54 College Dr.
July 27 from noon – 4 p.m. at Concord United Methodist Church, 8066 Old Linville Road
Aug. 7 from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Bethel Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church` 205 Bethel Church Road
Rutherford County
July 23 from 3 – 7:30 p.m. at Concord Baptist Church, 720 Old Highway 74

Forest City
Aug. 5 from 1 – 5:30 p.m. at Chili’s of Forest City, 128 Sparks Crossing
Aug. 10 from noon – 4:30 p.m. Floyd’s Creek Baptist Church, 2004 Chase High Road

Transylvania County
July 23 from 1:30 – 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 122 Gaston St.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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