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Over the last 11 weeks, Red Cross donations have unexpectedly been declining by 8 percent, which tallies almost 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The Red Cross is asking people to roll up their sleeves and help... literally.
According to The Charleston Chronicle, typically there are 4,400 Red Cross blood drives scheduled each week. However, because of the 4th of July weekend and many people going on vacation, only 3,450 drives took place. Although people are going on vacation frequently within the summer months, Ryan Corcoran, who is the Community CEO for the Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region, says that patients who need the blood donations don't go on vacation or follow any certain schedule.
"Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer," he explained, "and they're relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead."
During the summer, volunteer donations - even from those who donate on a regular basis - can drop by more than 80 percent, reports Minews 26. Blood and platelet donations are needed almost continuously, and experts say that those who donated blood at the beginning of the summer may be eligible to donate again now and continue to help patients who need the blood.