Giving Blood Need for donations is now critical

Hood River News Editorial

July 9, 2005

Our sympathies go out to the victims of terrorism in London. Our admiration, too, for the way that community responded to horror with relative calm; the stiff upper lip is a human capacity once again exemplified by our cousins in Britain.

Lessons learned from the American response to the Sept. 11 attacks reportedly helped London’s emergency service response on July 6. For what they knew would one day come, they were prepared.

Whether it is for an act of terror, a natural disaster, or day-to-day needs, one way we as Americans can help prepare on a regular basis is by giving blood.

Currently there is a critical blood shortage nationwide. The American Red Cross is issuing an urgent national appeal for blood donations. National blood inventory levels have dropped well below a safe and adequate supply. In order to meet the needs of hospital patients across the nation, the Red Cross is strongly urging anyone who is eligible to give blood, to please schedule an appointment to donate.

Blood donations decline in the summer due to vacations, holidays, and everyone’s busy lifestyles in the warm months.

Unfortunately, injuries and the need for blood do not decrease. Right now, the blood inventory level is so low that patient care may soon be compromised. Some areas of the country have reached a critical low, below a one-day level.

The Red Cross is appealing to all eligible donors to make an appointment and donate. There is a particular interest in type O, Type A negative and Type B negative which are the blood types currently suffering the greatest shortage. Although 60 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, only 5 percent do. Donations are critically needed. Anyone at least 17 years of age, weighing 110 pounds or more and feeling in good health may be eligible to donate.

Local Red Cross Blood drives will be in the area during the month of July. If you are ready to help, listed below are dates and details about upcoming blood drives.

July 18, Bonneville Lock and Dam, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; (541) 374-8344;

July 25, Goldendale, United Methodist Church, 1-6 p.m. (509) 773-4825;

July 26, White Salmon, LDS Church, 1-6 p.m. (509) 493-4355;

July 27, The Dalles, LDS Church, 1-6 p.m., (541) 296-4856;

July 28, Hood River, Elks Lodge, 1-6 p.m., 387-3669.

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