Blood donations are down every summer and this summer is much of the same.  “Typically as summers go, donations go down,” said Susie Weaver, RN, of the American Red Cross Howard-Tipton Chapter.  “People go on vacation and go on holiday.”

Weaver said that there is less than a day supply of A negative, B negative and O negative blood types.  The Red Cross has been holding steady with the A positive, O positive and AB positive, but they currently have a two day supply of those types, she said.  “We look for things to pick up when people get back into their normal routines,” she said.

She said that the economy has not had a negative impact on the donations, if anything it may be positive.  “A number of people who have been laid off now have time to give blood.  That has been a benefit to us.”

The Red Cross primarily supports the central and northern parts of the state, and other hospitals as needed, she said.  It is the primary provider of both of Kokomo’s hospitals.  She said that the Red Cross is always in need of O negative and all blood types are welcomed and needed.

The Red Cross will be having many blood drives in the next few weeks:

-Thursday (Aug. 30) at Calvary Baptist Church at 1967 W. Boulevard from noon to 6 p.m.

-Aug. 7 at Howard Regional Health System from noon to 5 p.m. at the Education Room

-Aug. 8 at Bethany Fellowship at 500 N. 500 East in Greentown from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

-Aug. 11 at First Church of the Nazarene at 2734 S. Washington St. from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Red Cross also has a blood drive every Thursday at St. Joseph Hospital from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., appointment only.  “We are optimistic,” she said.  “People have willing and generous hearts and give whenever they can.”

The program called “Pint Sized Heroes” has also helped in blood donations.  This program informs grade school children how to encourage their parents to give blood, she said.

By Peter Adelsen
The Kokomo Perspective Staff Writer