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Ask the Doc

July 2012 • Published in The Daily Press, Ashland WI

Q: I often hear about the need for more blood donations in the summer months. But why is that? Are there more accidents or surgeries that put more people in need?

A: The truth is that the summer months are a critical time for blood donations for a couple of reasons. Although the demand for blood varies only a little, maintaining the supply of blood products for hospitals is the primary challenge that Memorial Blood Centers faces.

First, people’s schedules get crazy during the summer. Kids are out of school and involved with any number of sports, camps, and fun activities. This is the time families take long weekend trips to the cabin or extended vacations, and many donors are unable to maintain their regular donation schedule.

We also need more volunteer donors at our donor centers and community-sponsored blood drives over the summer because our high school and college blood drives—which account for approximately 15 percent of our total blood donations annually—are suspended until students return in the fall. Without this support from our young people, our blood supply is immediately affected. In fact, one important way you can help would be to organize a summer blood drive at your work or church.

Finally, every two seconds someone needs blood. And during the summer months, there is a slight increase in accidents where blood is needed—from boating and motorcycle accidents, for example. But perhaps the most significant fact is that blood just doesn’t last forever. Donated red blood cells can be stored for 42 days and platelets have a shelf-life of only 5 days. All this means that supplies, especially around holidays, must be constantly replenished. That’s why, as we head into July and August, we’re asking everyone in the community to step up and be a blood donor.

There are special promotions that make July a great time to give. When you present to donate throughout the month of July, you’ll help us maintain an ample supply of life-saving blood and get a chance to win a Polaris ATV! You could also qualify for a drawstring tote bag.

There also are plenty of opportunities to support the local community by donating at any of the following blood drives here in the Ashland area. Please contact one of these blood drive sponsors directly to schedule your appointment today:

Hickman Chiropractic - a Greater Northland Top Blood Drive Sponsor
Wednesday, July 25th
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Contact Hickman Chiropractic: 715-682-5656

Memorial Medical Center
Thursday, July 26th
1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Contact Vickie Schelvan: 715-685-5391

American Legion Auxiliary Post 90
Friday, July 27th
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Contact Linda: 715-209-8135

Northwoods Community Credit Union
Friday, July 27th
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Contact Brenda Beard: 218-591-3000

Jed Gorlin, M.D. is Medical Director and Vice President, Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers. Elizabeth Perry, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Memorial Blood Centers. Send us your questions at askthedoc@MBC.org. Call us today 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about Memorial Blood Centers and how we partner with the Ashland community to save lives visit About Us