Urgent need for blood donors thanks to Harvey and summer travel

With Labor Day weekend upon us and a potential record travel weekend beginning, as well as disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, 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.

“Busy schedules are leading to less blood on the shelves,” say Red Cross representatives, who say donations tend to drop during the summer months, with many families planning travel before school resumes. Donation opportunities in the next few weeks are a chance to help keep the supply intact.

Upcoming blood drives near Ithaca include today in the Anabel Taylor Hall One World Room at Cornell from 11:30am-4:30pm, Thursday at Cornell’s Barton Hall from 9am-2pm and at the Ramada Inn on Triphammer from 12-4pm, Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Ithaca from 10am-2pm, Monday September 4 at the Shops at Ithaca Mall from 1-6pm, and Wednesday September 6 at the First Unitarian Society in Downtown Ithaca from 1-6pm.

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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