By Yessenia Anderson
MEDFORD, Ore. — The American Red Cross blood supply has reached emergency levels nationwide. Local officials say they have not seen the situation this bad in years.
Usually the summer time is already the slower donation season of the year. But this summer, the American Red Cross began its collection already 10% behind. The American Red Cross received 50,000 fewer donations in June than expected. The Medford site reflects that shortage, as nearly half of their daily target goal was met Monday.
Officials say the summer time ties up regular donors, but increases the need; elective surgeries are high in these months as well as injuries that call for blood transfusions. Their highest volume of donors comes from high school blood drives, but they will have to wait three months before that influx kicks in. Officials say just one unit can potentially help three people.
Hospitals like Providence Medford Medical Center rely on that supply. With a lack of delivery to hospitals the demand is still met the only difference is the blood given will not be type-specific. The Northwest has a goal of 1,000 pints a day, blood that is used on a daily basis. People can donate up to six times a year and the drawing itself only takes 5 to 12 minutes.
Providence will be holding a blood drive this coming Tuesday. Two others in the area will be offering Jackson and Josephine County Fair tickets for student donors.