Give Blood: Red Cross needs your donations

As donations pour in to organizations such as the American Red Cross to help victims of the flooding this summer in West Virginia and hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there is something more than cash and bottled water in desperately short supply: blood.

According to Rodney Wilson, communications manager for the Red Cross in Ohio, the Buckeye State alone uses an average of 2,000 pints of blood per day. And while there has, so far, been no major increase in the need for donated blood because of Harvey and Irma, there may be a different problem. Planned blood drives in those regions could be canceled, leaving a supply shortage. Wilson said the national Red Cross network needs approximately 38,000 blood donations every day to keep up with normal demand.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is already playing catch-up as the normal lull in donations caused by summer vacations is just coming to an end.

There are local opportunities to help — one of them coming up Thursday, at the Marietta College Dyson Baudo Recreation Center; another is Sept. 18 at the volunteer fire department in Lowell.

But first, those interested in donating should go to

Linda Miller, who is organizing the drive in Lowell, explained the impact even smaller local drives can have.

“We’ve averaged 48 units per drive and collected a total of 549 units of blood since we began two years ago. That’s enough blood to potentially impact 1,500 patients and their family members.”

Compared with that kind of result, the minor inconvenience associated with blood donation is nothing. If you are eligible and able, get out there and give.