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Indiana Red Cross Fears Blood Shortage This Summer

Indiana Red Cross blood and platelet donations have dropped 13.5 percent since March and officials worry they will be facing a blood shortage later this summer.

blood drive

Photo: ec-jpr (flickr)

A man has his blood drawn at a blood drive.

Even with Hoosiers donning tank tops and short sleeves during the hot summer months, blood donation organizations are having trouble getting people to roll their sleeves up.

Indiana Red Cross blood and platelet donations have dropped 13.5 percent since March.

The American Red Cross Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois region needs 400 units of blood daily, and Communications Director of the Great Lakes Division Karen Kelley says while they currently have a sufficient amount of blood on the shelves, the lack of summer donors is a cause for concern for future seasons of blood and platelet availability.

“Unfortunately the need for blood does not take a vacation. We have people who are counting on us right now to give blood or platelets,” Kelley says.

Blood donation organizations such as The American Red Cross and Indiana Blood Center often see a drop in donors during the summer because school is out of session, people go on vacation and companies host less blood drives.

Indiana Blood Center spokesperson Shannon Jordan says her organization has avoided a shortage by doing specific summer outreach, such as an increase in emailing and telephoning donors.

“During the summer months you may see that we do some additional promotions. So we’ve got an upcoming concert promotion with live nation this weekend. We try to make it fun as well as help save lives,” Jordan says.

Kelley says summer months may be the most difficult time to reach donors, but it also might be one of the most necessary seasons. The summer’s heightened highway trafficking and outdoor activities lead to many injuries.

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