Urgent need for blood donors in Central New York and beyond as summer travel ramps up

With Independence Day weekend upon us and a potential record travel weekend 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 in the next few weeks are a chance to help keep the supply intact.

Upcoming blood drives near Ithaca include at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown from 10am-2pm Friday, July 1, Homewood Suites by Triphammer Marketplace from 11am-3pm on Tuesday, July 5, Ithaca College’s fitness center from 10am-5pm and the Shops at Ithaca Mall from 1-6pm on Thursday, July 7, and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church from 1-6pm or Ithaca YMCA from 11:30-4:30 on Friday, July 8.

The Red Cross says donors from July 1-5 will receive a lunch cooler while supplies last.

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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