Agencies issue emergency call for blood donors

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The blood supply is shrinking at hospitals in Indiana and across the country, prompting an emergency call to donors.

Both the American Red Cross and the Indiana Blood Center are looking for help during a very slow time.

“I happened to come past and I didn’t see many cars in the driveway, so I came on in,” said blood donor David Mason.

Mason donated at the Indiana Blood Center on Wednesday, but they need many more like him.

“We are in a low supply situation,” said Shannon Jordan.

The summer months typically bring a dip in donations because it’s a time when student blood drives aren’t possible.

“We feel it when school is out of session,” Jordan said. “So this is the time when we rely on the community to really step up.”

This summer community support has dwindled too and the Blood Center isn’t alone. For the second straight summer, the Red Cross has issued an emergency request for donations nationwide. Last summer, donations were 10 percent off of projections, hitting a 15-year low. So far, this summer they are again off by 10 percent.

“At this point, we don’t want it to go farther than the 10 percent,” said Karen Kelley, Spokeswoman for the Red Cross Great Lakes Region. “We want to make sure that we continue to have blood and platelets on our shelves, so that we are ready for anything that might happen.”

Both agencies are in need of blood donors of all types, but the Indiana Blood Center is in urgent need of donors with type O negative.

“That is where we’re not being able to fulfill inventory on a daily basis,” Jordan said. “You know, depending upon what comes in and goes through testing, then we’re able to back fill.”

Though both agencies are keeping up for now, they encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves.

“I just encourage people that might want to donate, to come on in and donate,” Mason said.

To find out how to donate to the Red Cross go to: www.redcross.org

To find out how to donate to the Indiana Blood Center go to: www.indianablood.org

Interested donors can find the nearest donor center or list of mobile drives by visiting www.donorpoint.org or by calling 1-800-632-4722.

Additionally, donors will receive concerts to the Heart/Jason Bonhman concert on July 12 and July 13. The concert will be held at the Klipsch Music Center on July 30.