PRINCETON — The American Red Cross is seeking blood donors to prevent any blood shortage during the summer months.
On Wednesday, Bureau County Red Cross Director Lori Compton said the local blood drives are usually consistent in the number of donors throughout the year, but nationally, donations are typically down both in the summer and hard winter months. Summer can be an especially hard time for blood drives because people are gone on vacations. Also, there is often more need for blood during the summer months when people are traveling more and there is an increased chance for accidents.
The American Red Cross has stated there is an average of two fewer blood donors at each Red Cross blood drive during the summer months.
Blood collected through the Bureau County Red Cross is processed through the Peoria Heart of America and then dispersed as needed, Compton said. Though primarily used in area counties, the collected blood may occasionally be shipped outside of the area to meet needs elsewhere.
According to the American Red Cross, red blood cells have a shelf-life of only 42 days and platelets have a five-day shelf-life, which means they must be replenished constantly.
The process for giving blood takes only about an hour or so of a person’s time, including going through paperwork and screening processes and then actually giving the blood, .
To be eligible to give blood, a person must be at least 17 years of age (or 16 years with parental consent), weigh between 110 and 350 pounds, and be in generally good health. There is a 56-day waiting period between donation times, Compton said.
In coming weeks, Bureau County area residents will have opportunities to give blood at the following area blood drives:
• July 22 from noon to 5 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley. People may call the hospital for appointments.
• Aug. 4 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Walnut Community Bible Church, 125 Jackson St. in Walnut.
• Aug. 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Martin Engineering, 1 Martin Place in Neponset.
• Aug. 15 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Bureau County Metro Center, 837 Park Ave. West in Princeton.
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