By Karin Krisher
Today, we want to talk about something that everyone seems to know, but few people seem to talk about: the number of people donating blood is fluctuating, leaving America’s blood supply is at its lowest level in 15 years.
The Red Cross has noted a lack of summer donors as a few bouts of severe weather have caused cancellation of drives around the nation. Even extreme temperatures are to blame, as donors don’t want to stray far from home or the air conditioner. Summer always sees a lull in drives and donations, but this year the turnout is especially sparse. The fact that the 4th of July fell on a weekday even had an effect.
All doctors know the importance of sufficient blood stores. Without them, surgeries and transplants can be called off altogether, putting lives at risk. In June, fewer than 50,000 donations came in. Today, after a total 10 percent drop in donations this year, there are 50 percent fewer blood products readily available than at this time in 2011.
Talk to your patients and family about donating blood. It takes just minutes and can provide a lifetime more. Visit www.redcrossblood.org to find a donation time and center near you.