Red Cross: ‘Things are at critical level’

Published 11:26 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The American Red Cross issued an emergency request for blood donations Tuesday.

It is the second straight year the organization has experienced much lower than expected blood and platelet donation levels in June and early July.

“The trend is significant enough that we’ve issued an emergency request for blood donations of all types, but especially types O negative, A negative and B negative,” said Megan Jefferson, Red Cross donor recruitment accounts manager. “Now more than ever, it’s important we work together to ensure blood drives are as successful as possible. Although walk-ins are welcome at drives, we’re really encouraging donors to make an appointment at to save lives.”

Local drives include:

• Thurs., July 18: First Baptist Church Andalusia fellowship hall from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.;

• Fri., July 26: Ramer twins memorial drive at the Opp Senior Activity Center from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.; and,

• Tues., July 30: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Andalusia from 1 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

To give blood, one must weigh at least 110 pounds; be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), and be in general good health. All donors must have a photo ID or American Red Cross donor card.

If you plan on giving blood:

• double your fluid intake in the 48 hours leading up to the drive.

• eat a nutritious meal the night before, as well as the day of, the blood drive.

• get a good night’s sleep before the drive.