ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - While you might learn your ABC`s in school, in the summertime school is out and the A`s, B`s, and O`s are missing.
“We supply 80% of the local hospitals in the St. Louis region,” said Mary Jane Thomsen, Executive Director American Red Cross. “We need to have blood on the shelf for transfusions. During the summer months as you mentioned, schools aren`t in session. We get about 25% of our local blood supply from universities, colleges and high schools every year. So, it`s really important in the summer to give, because we don`t have those students coming in our doors throughout the summer.”
A, B and O, they`re not just letters, they`re the blood types needed in the summer months, especially around holidays when many are out of town or traveling.
That`s why the American Red Cross Missouri and Arkansas chapters are thanking those who donate blood July first through the sixth by giving them red cross missing types t-shirt, while supplies last.
They`re not the only ones trying to get people to consider the positives of giving.
Some, like the Central Illinois Community Blood Center in Springfield, Illinois offering ten-dollar gift card vouchers and drawings for $500, and Visa gift cards.
And whether it`s an incentive or altruistic reason, either way, the Red Cross wants to remind St. Louisans to think of their type this Fourth of July.
“All blood types are needed but we collect red cells, platelets, and plasma for patients in our local hospitals,” said Thomsen. “As many of our O donors hear that be universal blood donors. So, if a red cell matches us need O negative and O positive at all times. But what we really want people to know is that all blood types are needed at this time.”
The Red Cross says there are as many as ten blood drives a day in the St. Louis area and are willing to steer anyone in the right direction, willing to donate.