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Urgent Need For Blood In Indiana


As summer starts to wind down, local blood donations tend to slow down, too.

Lucy Wehking, corporate communications specialist for the Indiana Blood Center, says the center was unable to fill a few hospital orders this week because of a lower amount of blood donations.

She says about one-third of the center's mobile donations come from education-based drives, so by this time of the summer there typically is a dip in supply.

"Until people are really settled into school, we will continue to see that decrease in donations, and we are expecting unfortunately to see it decrease through mid-August."

Wehking says while blood donations are not at critical level at this point, there is still an urgent need for blood.

The blood that is collected is distributed to the more than 60 Indiana hospitals served by the center.

Wehking adds that while the holidays and summers may come and go, there are patients always in need of transfusions.

Donors must be in good health, weigh at least 116 pounds and be age 17 or older - or 16 with parental consent.

Wehking says it's important to call the center if you have questions about your eligibility to donate, especially if you were deferred in the past.

"Maybe last time you were deferred for low iron, or you traveled last time to an area that made you ineligible, or even if you were taking a medication, which caused you to be ineligible, a lot of people think that will indefinitely defer them," she explains. "So we always encourage people do not self-defer."

Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, platelets every seven days.