Blood shortage prompts Red Cross to reach out for help

The need for blood never stops and having a ready supply could mean life or death

The Red Cross has declared an emergency on blood.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The American Red Cross is in the midst of a blood shortage and is asking for help in replenishing its blood banks.

Someone is in need of blood every two seconds in the United States, and right now blood donations are down by about 60,000.

Christina Gargas with the local American Red Cross said the summer months are the most challenging time of the year. Blood donations are typically down as people leave town for vacation or their time is taken up with other activities.

“With the holiday and busy summers, we don’t have a lot of sponsors hosting blood drives right now, so that is also impacting it,” Gargas said.

The need for blood never stops and having a ready supply could mean life or death. Ray Anderson of Youngstown was in critical condition and in need of blood, so now he is a donor.

“When I was in that situation and needed somebody for a blood transfusion I was always praying for that to happen. Knowing that I have the chance to be there for someone else always makes me feel good,” Anderson said.

Haylie Sapp knows how critical this time of year is for blood donations. She hosted a blood drive this week to help fill the void. Sapp said she knows some people may be reluctant to give and have anxiety about the process, but that the whole process takes about five minutes.

“It could change someone’s life for years. You just have to go into it with a positive attitude and know that it is going to be okay,” Sapp said.

Anyone wanting to donate blood or host a blood drive can set that up by contacting the local American Red Cross.

Upcoming blood drives in the Valley:

Thursday, July 6:

Boardman Public Library, 7680 Glenwood Ave., Boardman, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

HMS MFG Warehouse, 1500 Geoffrey Trail, Youngstown, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, July 7:

St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2860 East Market St. Warren, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Poland Library, 311 S. Main St., 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 11:

Champion Presbyterian Church, 4997 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren, noon to 6 p.m.

Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2305 S. Canfield-Niles Rd., 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Church Hill United Methodist Church, 189 Churchill-Hubbard Rd., 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Check other blood drive dates and locations at www.redcrossblood.org.