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EDITORIAL: Need for blood doesn't take a summer break

EDITORIAL: Need for blood doesn't take a summer break

Give blood to help alleviate emergency summer shortages
EDITORIAL: Need for blood doesn't take a summer break
Photographer: Shutterstock

It’s summer. Everybody deserves a break, right?

You’re a regular blood donor most of the year. But summer’s a busy time, what with vacation or just soaking up the sun.

So what’s the harm in taking a little break from the regular rotation? You’ll pick it back up in the fall.

That’s a reasonable argument for putting off a lot of household tasks. 

But it’s not a good argument for not giving blood.

That’s because heart patients don’t take summers off.

People who get blood infections and who need transfusions of dozens of pints of blood to stay alive don’t take summers off.

Little kids with cancer who get anemia from treatments and who need many pints of blood don’t take summers off.

Neither do victims of car accidents and other emergencies, premature babies, people with kidney diseases or those with any of the inumerable other medical conditions that require blood to survive.

Maybe the person your blood donation saves is a stranger. Or maybe it’s your child or spouse or a sibling or a parent or friend. Or you.

Like the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, summer is a time when blood donations fall off, as people donate less and businesses and civic organizations host fewer blood drives.

But just because donors have better things to do during summer, for the patients in immediate need of blood donations, there’s no more important time than the present.

Right now, the American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency shortage, in part due to a sharp drop in blood donations and blood drives over the long July 4 holiday.

When supplies drop to dangerously low levels, it may force hospitals to consider putting off elective  surgeries to ensure there’s an adequate supply to meet emergencies. 

There are several blood drives going on in our area over the summer. A list accompanying this editorial below shows blood drives within a 10-mile radius of Schenectady in the next two weeks.

If you live or work further out or just can’t make it on one of those days, you can visit the Red Cross website to find a local drive that’s more convenient.

If you’ve never donated before, now’s a good opportunity to give it a try. It takes about an hour or so in most cases, it’s safe for most healthy adults, there’s no risk of contracting a disease, since all the equipment used in individual donations is sterile, and it only stings for a second.

Every day of the year, people’s lives depend on blood donors.

And critical medical conditions don’t take summers off.

For more information, including eligibility, visit https://www.redcross.org/.

UPCOMING AREA BLOOD DRIVES

The following blood drives are taking place over the next two weeks within a 10-mile radius of the Schenectady 12301 ZIP code, according to https://www.redcross.org/.

EVERY DAY:
Everett Road Blood Donation Center: 33 Everett Road. Albany (Times vary. Please check online.)

Friday, July 19
• Homestead Funding: 8 Airline Drive, Albany, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday, July 22
• Grace Chapel: 996 Main St., Clifton Park, 1-6 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23
• Starpoint Church: 410 21st Century Park Drive, Clifton Park, 1-6 p.m.
• Albany International Airport: 737 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thursday, July 25
• Guilderland Fire District: 2303 Western Ave., Guilderland, 1-6 p.m.
• Excelsior College: Bldg 7, Columbia Circle, Albany, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Crossgates Mall: 1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany, 11:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Friday, July 26
• Hampton Inn Schenectady: 450 State St., Schenectady, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Monday, July 29
• Niskayuna Public Library: 2400 Nott St. E., Niskayuna, 2-6 p.m.
• Crossroads Center for Children: 1136 North Westcott Rd.,  Schenectady, 1-6 p.m.
• Rexford Fire Department: Route 146, Rexford, 1-6 p.m.

Tuesday, July 30
• CESTM: Rotunda building, 251 257 Fuller Rd, Albany, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Wednesday, July 31
•Rivers Casino and Resort: 1 Rush St., Schenectady, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Hilton Garden Inn Clifton Park: 30 Clifton Country Rd., Clifton Park, 1-6 p.m.
• BlueShield of Northeastern New York: 40 Century Hill Drive, Latham, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Thursday, August 1
• Kitware: 1712 Route 9, Suite 300, Clifton Park, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Loudonville Community Church: 374 Loudon Road, Loudonville, 1-6 p.m.

For more dates or for blood drives closer to where you live, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.  Type in your ZIP code and click the red “Find a Drive” tab.

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