Red Cross facing blood donation shortage

PHILADELPHIA - July 9, 2013

As a nurse I can tell you, hospitals depend on this blood being there.

Still we typically see a shortage right around this time. Schools are out so there are fewer blood drives and with the holiday, many people were on vacation.

Barbara Canty of Mt. Airy tells me helping others is in her blood that's why today she's donating blood and it couldn't come at a better time.

Anthony Tornetta of the Red Cross says they typically collect 1,200 units of blood a day, but due to the 4th of July holiday there's been a drop off.

"We've seen a huge drop off since that Wednesday afternoon through Sunday and we are still trying to recover from that," Tornetta said.

Adding to the urgency is the fact that demand for blood goes up in the summer due to more accidents.

So the Red Cross is urging anyone who can, to donate blood or platelets.

Donating platelets takes more time, but it is vital for many patients battling cancer. As for blood donations, if you donate you will be helping someone in our community within the week.

"Think about how much it will make a difference," Tornetta said.

"It's real simple to help others, save lives," Canty said.

If you have questions or would like to set up a time to donate visit - that will show you the closest center to you or you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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