Friday, Jun. 15, 2012
Blood donations take dip during summer
Supply drops while demand increases
Before you head off on a vacation this summer, the Community Blood Bank of Greater Kansas City wants to remind you of a need here at home.
During the summer months, the region’s donated blood supply takes a significant dip in inventory because of people’s vacation schedules and the lack of high school blood drives while school is out of session.
“I always try to communicate to people to not take a vacation from your summer donation,” said Cheryl Osborne, Peculiar, who is a blood donation recruiter for the CBC throughout Cass County.
“The demand increases (in the summer), and that is due to school is out, and you also see an increase in accidents on the road or at the lake during the summer months. Blood usage increases over the summer months and that happens at a time when our blood donations go down.”
The CBC provides blood for hospitals in more than 70 counties in Missouri and Kansas, including Cass County. Approximately 300,000 units are needed each week.
The minimum age to donate blood is 16. Donors must be healthy and weigh at least 115 pounds. Donors are eligible to give blood every 56 days. There is no upper age limit.
In addition to providing blood to injuries sustained in accidents, common blood recipients are those being treated for cancer, surgeries, and children who suffer from sickle cell anemia.
“A simple surgery can go wrong and many units of blood can be gone through,” Osborn said. “I had a friend, years ago, during childbirth, ran into complications and needed 12 units of blood herself. It was such a freak thing.”
The Community Blood Center is also offering several incentives throughout the summer to entice prospective donors to give blood.
A teen donor competition is also taking shape to encourage high school students to keep giving blood throughout the summer. Those who participate are entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire.
The blood bank is also holding a drawing for those who donate to enter to win tickets to the upcoming All-Star baseball game next month. Those who donate during the week of July 16 will also receive a Kansas City Royals t-shirt.
“The blood that is collected by the Community Blood Center stays in the local community,” Osborne said. “The Red Cross focus is on more disaster relief, so the blood they collect here in this area is sent to St. Louis and shipped out further.”
In addition to incentives, one of the CBC’s most popular initiatives is the “Battle for Blood” competition between area police and fire departments will take place during the last week of June.
“There’s nothing really awarded other than bragging rights, but what happens during that week is whenever you go to donate, you cast your vote for your favorite organization -- whether it be fire or police -- and all of those votes are tallied and bragging rights go to the winner of all,” Osborne said.
Donors receive a Battle for Blood T-shirt for participating.