Red Cross: Blood in short supply during summer

Organization asks for blood donations

The Pacific Northwest's region of the American Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for blood donors.

Donations typically drop during the busy summer months when people are traveling and school's out, but drops in donations this May and June foreshadowed the traditional summertime donation decline, said Daphne Mathew, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

Even though demand for blood remained steady during this time, the decrease in donations means the Red Cross needs people - now more than ever - to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All types are needed, but especially O negative, which can be used to treat any patient, Mathew said.

The Red Cross has responded to more than 40 major disasters in more than 30 states over the past three months alone - for people affected by floods, tornadoes and wildfires.

But the Red Cross also provides lifesaving blood to accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day.

Locally, the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region provides blood to more than 80 hospitals and must have approximately 1,100 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand.

Individuals must be 17 years old (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and be in general good health to donate blood.

Eligible blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.