ATLANTA — With the annual drop in summer blood donations, the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region is unable to sufficiently meet the ongoing needs of local hospitals.
The total blood supply throughout the Southern Region stands at just over a 24-hour supply. Supplies of types O negative, A negative and B negative blood are below a day’s supply. The supply of type O positive blood — the most common and most needed blood type — is down to just a six-hour supply.
In the U.S., about 4 million people need blood each year. That’s one person every two seconds, and the overwhelming majority of people who need it would die without it.
It is safe for most healthy people to give blood every 56 days or six times a year. Donations of platelets, the component of blood that enables clotting, can be made every two weeks, up to 24 times each year.
Platelets are often needed by cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
The American Red Cross Southern Region needs approximately 1,200 people to donate blood each weekday to meet the needs of hospital patients. Most people who are age 17 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to give blood every 56 days. There is no substitute for blood and the only source is from volunteer donors.
There are 14 blood donor centers across Georgia, and blood drives are held daily throughout the Region. Appointments for donations can be made by calling 1-800-GIVE LIFE (448-3543) or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org.