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One More Item for Your Summertime Checklist

Photo: Blood donations fall off during the summertime, and the Badger Chapter of the American Red Cross says donations are needed right now, particularly O-negative blood. (Photo Courtesy American Red Cross)
Photo: Blood donations fall off during the summertime, and the Badger Chapter of the American Red Cross says donations are needed right now, particularly O-negative blood. (Photo Courtesy American Red Cross)
August 13, 2014

MADISON, Wis. - Blood donations fall off in the summertime, but a Red Cross official says the need for blood does not.

"People become busy with vacations and summer activities," said Ben Corey, external communications manager for the Badger Chapter of the American Red Cross. "Also, we do host blood drives at high schools and colleges - in fact, up to 20 percent of all blood donations to the Red Cross come from high school and college blood drives. But when school's out in summer donations among those types of donors fall off by 80 percent."

Right now, Corey said, the Red Cross is looking for donations of three particular blood types.

"All blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative," he said. "Type O negative is especially important because it's the universal blood type. Type O-negative blood can potentially be transfused to any patient regardless of blood type."

Since people are now starting to get into back-to-school mode, Corey said, they should put one more item on their checklist - to donate blood.

Even those who cannot donate blood can help, he said.

"If someone is unable to donate blood, they can certainly encourage other people to donate blood," he said. "They can sign up to volunteer at a blood drive and help out. There's more information about other ways to help out and volunteer opportunities. People can call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit RedCrossBlood.org."

An easy way to donate $10 to the American Red Cross instantly is to text "redcross" to 90999.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI