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Blood shortage nationwide due to summer, harsh weather

The American Red Cross says it is in the midst of its worst blood shortage in 15 years.

Officials say it is normal for blood donations to go down about 20% in the summer, because people are on vacation, and high schools and colleges which often sponsor blood drives are out of session. But western wildfires and severe storms in parts of the country have canceled more drives.

Tracy Duncan with the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio region says even Hoosiers have not been immune. Hot weather has prompted bloodmobiles to call off donation days because the air conditioning cannot keep up. And Duncan says storms last week knocked out power to the Red Cross‘s two donation centers in Fort Wayne.

Indiana has been less hard-hit than other states, but because the Red Cross uses a national distribution system, there is no such thing as a one-state shortage.

The Indiana Blood Center reports its supplies are right where they should be, though a spokesperson says it takes 600 donors a day to maintain that level.

You can find a blood drive near you by going HERE.