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The need for blood

Published April 20. 2010 05:00PM

Spring is a month old and everything seems to be blooming.

Maybe not everything.

Blood donations are down.

The American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood donors to help replenish blood supplies.

According to the Red Cross, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Blood Services Region is currently experiencing an unexpected decline in blood collections coinciding with the early arrival of spring weather. Blood donations in the region are currently 85 percent of what was anticipated to date this month.

"Patients rely on blood transfusions every day," said Tony Ferlenda, Chief Executive Offier for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Region. "After such an unusually harsh winter, people are understandably anxious to get outside and enjoy the great spring weather. The result, however, is a significant drop in blood donations. We hope everyone will enjoy the beautiful weather we have all been waiting for. When you do, please make a point to stop by a Red Cross blood drive and donate the gift of life during this season of renewal."

Ferlenda add that a decline in blood donations at this time of year is unusual. "Typically, blood supplies drop during the summer months when donors are out of school or away on vacation. This makes building blood supplies back up before the summer season begins even more important."

Blood is necessary to sustain life and there is no source other than a caring volunteer donor. By sharing this life source, blood donors establish a special connection with another person unlike any other. Giving blood is one of the most unselfish acts anyone can do.

"The very thing patients need to regain health is flowing through the veins of the people in our communities," said Ferlenda. "And ensuring an adequate blood supply for these patients is of the utmost importance. This period of time, between the weather-related challenges of winter and the special challenges of the summer season, is a golden opportunity to shore up blood supplies in our community."

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.

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