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Red Cross hopes to stay ahead of summer blood shortage
Blood drives planned heading into Fourth of July
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The American Red Cross is trying to counter the summer slowdown in blood donations in Bulloch County with a series of blood drives leading up to the busy Fourth of July holiday.

Around the summer months, as people start to take vacations, blood donations and blood platelets historically drop, which then leads to blood shortages.

Kristen Stancil, external communications manager for the American Red Cross of Georgia, said that it’s important to keep steady donations all year long, but the summer is the hardest season to keep up.

“The goal is to make sure that blood is available for hospital patients. One donor or donation can help save the lives of those patients,” Stancil said. “The only way were able to get blood is through donations from our volunteers and donors. Typically, kids are out of school so parents tend to take vacations in the summer months. That’s the critical time when we see our donations decline.”

 All blood types are always accepted but there are specific ones that are more in need than others.

“O negative donors are the most in need. The O negative blood type is a universal blood type, which means it can go to anyone. The A negative and B negative blood types would be the next type we would need.”

Anyone who is at least 17, or 16 with parental consent, weighs at least 110 pounds and is in general good health is recommended to go and give blood, Stancil said.

The Zika Virus is a factor in blood screening for the first time and it is being closely monitored in reference to donations. Stancil said anyone who has concerns should go to the Red Cross website and read the public statement on Zika by Dr. Susan Stramer, vice president of Scientific Affairs at the American Red Cross.

“The Red Cross continues to use additional safety measures to protect the blood supply from Zika virus and other mosquito-borne viruses,” Stramer said in her statement. “As part of our current health screening process, we only collect blood from donors who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation.

“Donations from donors who develop any symptoms of disease are not used for transfusion.” Stramer said.

The next blood drive in Statesboro is set for Wednesday, June 1 at the Honey Bowen Building from 1-6 p.m., and another one at East Georgia Regional Medical Center from 1:30-5:30p.m. on Monday, June 6.

For more information on how to donate blood, where upcoming blood drives are or other ways you can help, visit


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