By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Red Cross blood supplies are drying up this summer due to a lack of donors.
“Summer has been traditionally low,” said Rita Inklovich, director for the Danville, Bloomsburg and Berwick Red Cross chapters.
Part of the drop comes from the lack of high school drives until the school year starts up again. One is going on at Bloomsburg University over the summer, said Inklovich, but there is a smaller student population to draw upon during this time of year. “Summer is just much quieter for us, generally,” she said, mainly because more people are away on vacation.
“We want to be ready to supply any of the hospitals that request blood in this area,” she said. The Danville, Bloomsburg and Berwick chapters supply 20 regional hospitals with blood.
Drives in the Danville area for the month of July are scheduled for July 16, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Grove Presbyterian Church; July 24, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Anthony Township Municipal Building, and July 25, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Riverside.
In addition, blood drives are held at the Columbia Mall every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Red Cross is especially looking for specific types of blood, said Sue Norton, Red Cross account manager for the Danville and Bloomsburg regions.
“We’re accepting all blood types, but we especially need O negative, A negative and B negative,” she said.
Platelets are also in high demand, due to their short lifespan. While blood can last for about 42 days, platelets, which are used to help treat cancer patients, last only about four.
“If we have any palette donors out there we could reach, that would be wonderful,” said Inklovich.
On average, the Red Cross must collect 17,000 pints of blood every day for patients in 3,000 hospitals across the country to meet their needs, said Norton. Regionally, the goal is to come back to Susquehanna Valley centers with a minimum of 350 per day, she said.
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