DETROIT -

The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood and platelet donations, even as thousands of people answered the urgent call to donate last month. Through the end of July, the Red Cross saw an increase of approximately 7.5 percent in the number of donors coming to give blood, resulting in more than 11,800 additional donations beyond what was anticipated.

Despite the increase, blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in, maintaining the urgent need. While overall donations increased last month, donations in the local Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region fell short of expectations by 509

pints.

To prevent a shortage and ensure an adequate blood supply for patients the rest of the summer, the Red Cross especially needs platelet donors and those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood. “The Red Cross is grateful for those who stepped up to give this lifesaving gift and reminds

eligible donors that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve,” said Jim Flickema, chief executive officer for the Red Cross Southeastern Michigan Blood Service Region. “As summer draws to a close, you still have the chance to give hope to patients in need.”

How to donate blood

Call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.