The American Red Cross urgently needs donors to help boost blood supplies following the Independence Day holiday. The organization has issued an emergency appeal for platelet and blood donors of all blood types. Those with O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give.
Fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July, the Red Cross said.
Platelets Ė a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients - must be transfused within five days of donation, so itís important to have a steady supply on hand.
Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected.
June is one of the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations, as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules, the Red Cross said.
Also, high school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year, and donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer.
In addition, this year the mid-week Independence Day celebration reduced the number of blood drives then.
Upcoming blood donations:
July 11 - 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte.
July 15 - 12:30-6:30 p.m. at Community Building, 121 N. Main in Brady.
July 16 - 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte.
July 18 - 1-7 p.m. at Berean Church, 202 W. Eighth in North Platte.
July 18 - 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte.
July 19 - 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Community Hall, 105 E. Alice St. in Wallace.
July 23 - 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte.
July 15 - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Legion Hall, 108 N. Main St. in Eustis.
July 22 - 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Ella Missing Community Building, 411 Sixth St. in Arapahoe.
July 16 - 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at Ogallala Fair Building, 1100 W. Fifth in Ogallala.
July 17 - 12-6 p.m. at Ogallala Fair Building, 1100 W. Fifth in Ogallala.
July 19 - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Ogallala Hospital, 2601 N. Spruce in Ogallala.
July 12 - 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Village Hall, 236 Main St. in Stapleton.
July 10 - 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at New Life Fellowship Hall, 617 W. Fourth in Grant.
To donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driverís license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.