Urgent need for blood donors in Central New York and beyond as summer travel season begins

With Memorial Day weekend upon us and the summer travel season beginning, the American Red Cross says there’s an urgent need for blood and platelet donations to help prevent a shortage. Several donations are scheduled in and around Ithaca over the next few weeks.

An American Red Cross blood drive. Photo by Renee Abu-Zaghibra/The Skyline View used under Creative Commons license.

An American Red Cross blood drive. Photo by Renee Abu-Zaghibra/The Skyline View used under Creative Commons license.

“Busy schedules are leading to less blood on the shelves,” say Red Cross representatives, who say donations tend to drop as school years end and families start to travel. Donation opportunities this month and next are a chance to help keep the supply intact.

Upcoming blood drives near Ithaca include at Cayuga Medical Center from 9:30am-2:30pm on Friday, May 27; NYSEG on Route 13 from 11:30am-4:30pm on Tuesday, May 31; the Church of Latter Day Saints on Burleigh Drive from 8am-noon and Newfield Peoples Baptist Church in Newfield from 8am-noon, both on June 11; the Ramada in Lansing from 1-6pm and First Unitarian Society of Ithaca in Downtown Ithaca from 1-6pm, both on June 15; and the Tabernacle Baptist Church on North Cayuga Street from 11am-5pm on June 16.

Walk-in donors are welcome when there’s room, but the American Red Cross is grateful when people make donation appointments in advance at www.redcrossblood.org. Anyone who’s healthy, age 16 and over, and weighing 110 pounds or more, can give blood.

Regular donations of all blood types are needed, but type O negative donations are especially helpful. O is the “universal donor;” that blood type can be given to nearly any patient. Donors always get a snack and something to drink to begin replenishing their fluids and blood sugar levels.

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