Red Cross makes appeal for blood donations

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2003

According to AAA-Alabama, a record 37.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Fourth of July weekend.

These 37.4 million Americans are affecting more than just businesses, though. Tracie Colvin, the American Red Cross blood drive recruiter for Pike County said when people start traveling, the blood supply starts dwindling.

"We are actually on critical appeal right now," Colvin said. "That means the blood supply is at a low."

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Ironically, when the blood bank is at its lowest, the demand is at its highest due to the increase of accidents that naturally come with the increase of traveling.

To help combat that, the Pike County American Red Cross has several blood drives coming up.

Regions Bank University Branch hosted a blood drive on Wednesday and there are at least four more this month.

"Everyone is really cooperative," said Colvin, referring to the businesses that hold the blood drives. "They all want to help get more people to donate."

Colvin said 5 percent of Americans donate blood but only 4 percent of Alabamians donate blood, a percentage the Red Cross would like to increase.

"Each donor saves up to three lives for one blood donation," Colvin said.

Donors give one pint of blood. So, when a goal is set for 25 pints (which was the goal for the Regions Bank drive), the Red Cross needs 25 good donors.

"We actually need 30 or more to meet our goal of 25," Colvin said. "Just in case some donors are deterred."

The next blood drive is July 10 from 12-5 p.m. in the Adams Center Ballroom at Troy State University with a goal of 36 pints. On July 15, Brundidge City Hall will host a blood drive from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Red Cross hopes to draw 30 pints of blood in Brundidge.

On July 24 from 12-4 p.m., the Bloodmobile will be at the State Highway Department looking for 75 pints of blood.