Urgent need for blood donors thanks to hurricanes and school starting

With Labor Day weekend and the start of the school year just behind us, as well as disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, 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 at the YMCA near the Shops at Ithaca Mall in Lansing from 10am-5pm, Tuesday September 12 at the Ithaca Ramada on North Triphammer Road from 3:30-7:30pm and Cornell’s Barton Hall from 12-5pm, Thursday September 14 at Cornell’s Barton Hall from 9am-2pm and the Tabernacle Baptist Church on North Cayuga Street from 11am-5pm, Monday September 18 at Ithaca College’s Campus Center from 2-8pm, and Tuesday September 19 at Enfield Fire Department from 1:30-6:30pm.

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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