DuBois, PA – Hospitals are in desperate need for blood right now. Blood and platelet donations are being used by hospitals faster than the donations are being made.

For the past two months, the Red Cross has been receiving far fewer donations than they expected. However, it isn’t entirely a new problem. Donations decrease every summer.

The Red Cross gets a lot of their donations from schools and colleges, so there is usually an urgent need for blood during the summer months as people leave for vacation. Giving just a pint of blood can prevent a summer shortage and make sure that the donations are there for people when they need it.

Each day, patients who are recovering from accidents or receiving treatments for cancer or blood disorders rely on these lifesaving donations. The need is always there, no matter what season, but donations dwindle during June, July and August.

In order to donate blood, you have to meet a list of requirements to make sure that the blood is safe and also to keep yourself safe while you’re donating.

  • You must be at least 18 but less than 60 and weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Officials will test your hemoglobin count, body temperature and blood pressure at the time of the donation.
  • If you have infections or diseases that can be transmitted via blood, you cannot donate.
  • You also won’t be able to donate if you’ve had alcohol in the past 48 hours, have injected illegal drugs even once, or if you’ve had surgery recently.
  • You can donate blood about every 3 months, or 56 days.

It only takes about 5 or 6 minutes for the actual donation, but the entire process could be longer, about 30 minutes. You’ll be asked a series of questions and given a quick checkup.

To make the process faster, you can register ahead of time at RedCrossBlood.org. You can also use RedCrossBlood.org or the Red Cross app to find your closest blood donation location and times.

While there are no blood donation times today in our area, there are donation sites in the next few weeks:

  • Wednesday, July 19 at the Brockway High School from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 20, the Sykesville Lions Club is sponsoring a blood drive at the Sykesville Town Hall from noon until 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 25 at the Eagles FOE 540 in Reynoldsville from 1 until 6 :30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 27 at the DuBois VFW Post 813 from noon until 5:30 p.m.

You can keep updated on local blood drives and find more information about donating blood at RedCrossBlood.org.