Vancouver, Washington - As temperatures increase throughout the Pacific Northwest, the American Red Cross is experiencing a decrease in blood donation appointments. The recent heat wave has left the Red Cross struggling to schedule blood donor appointments, and nearly 20% of those who do schedule a time to donate do not present for their appointment. The American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood donors to take time out of their busy schedules to help save lives this summer by donating blood. Despite the heat, the Red Cross is conducting normal blood drive operations across the region. You can find a drive near you and make an appointment by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or by visiting www.givelife.org .
"The summer months are normally challenging for blood collections due to vacations and other activities," says Steve Stegeman, Chief Executive Officer of the blood region. "With the high temperatures these past few days, it has become extra challenging. Hospital patients are in constant need of blood, so if you are eligible, please make an appointment to donate soon."
Blood products are routinely transfused to those with cancer and other diseases, premature babies, organ transplant recipients, and accident and trauma victims. Volunteer blood donors are the primary source of blood used for transfusions, which must be available before it is needed in order to help save lives.
For heat related safety and preparedness tips visit www.oregonredcross.org.
About the American Red Cross
The Red Cross provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply (collecting more than six million units a year from volunteer donors) to patients in 3,000 hospitals across the country through its national network. Founded in 1949, Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region must collect 5,000 donations weekly to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and other ill or injured people who need transfusions. It serves more than 80 hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Call 1-800-GIVE LIFE or visit to schedule your blood donation or to sponsor a blood drive.