Summer blood drive critical for Red Cross


    The American Red Cross will sponsor a summer blood drive this week for all Manhattan residents. People can donate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday in the K-State Student Union Ballroom.

    Megan Smith, area communications specialist for the Red Cross, said there are always fewer donations in the summer.

    “The Red Cross puts on a blood drive once a semester,” Smith said. “Since there are not as many people here during the summer months, our goal is 100 total donations.”

    Kristi Ingalls, Red Cross donor recruitment representative, said the donated blood will help people in Kansas and Oklahoma, known as the Central Plains Region.

    “The blood will go to help emergency rooms and hospitals in this region,” she said. “All blood types are needed, but types O and B are the most important.”

    Anyone in good health who is at least 17 years old and weighs 110 pounds or more can donate blood, Ingalls said.

    “Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids to be well hydrated,” she said. “Eating iron-rich foods such as meat and spinach is also beneficial when donating blood.”

    Refreshments will be provided to all donors, along with a complementary t-shirt and a NASCAR lanyard, Ingalls said.

    Susie Shaw, medical technologist at Mercy Regional Health Center, said more than half of America is capable of donating blood.

    “Sixty percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood,” she said. “However, only five percent of the population will donate.”

    Shaw also said the shortage of blood in the U.S. would be non-existent if every eligible adult donated twice a year.

    “Approximately 34,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States, with 500 of those pints being used right here in the Central Plains Region,” she said.

    Shaw said the average person can donate every 56 days, which is important since there is always a shortage of available blood for transfusions.   

    “Someone in the United States will need blood every 3 seconds,” she said. “One donation can go to save the lives of three different people.”