Summertime demands more blood, but supply is down


LELAND,NC (WWAY) — As temperatures heat up, blood supply goes down, according to the Cape Fear Red Cross chapter. AAA reports last week’s Fourth of July festivities across the state deprived hospitals of 17,000 units of blood.

The Red Cross is hoping you can help like the members of an area church did Tuesday.

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“I heard about the blood drive from the church that we’re attending, The Bridge in Leland,” Steve Wingert said. “I know there’s a shortage, and I know my blood type is not rare, but it’s A negative, and there’s specifically a need for that type of blood.”

Wingert is just one of The Bridge church members to participate in Tuesday’s blood drive.

Church member Clyde Queen saw a need for more blood at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. He started taking steps to make a change and organized the drive.

“I volunteer at the hospital also, and they’re in dire need of blood constantly, so with the people traveling all the time and surgeries going on, they’ve got to have blood,” Queen said.

Cape Fear Red Cross Chapter Executive Director James Jarvis says the goal is to have a five-day supply on hand, but they currently only have three days of all types and only two days of type O,the universal donor.

“Twenty percent of our blood supply comes from school drives including high schools and colleges and those are not in session right now,” Jarvis said. “Plus, with Hurricane Florence, we had a number of teachers that had to catch up on curriculum so a lot of the drives that were planned at the end of the school year were cancelled as teachers were trying to make up ground.”

Wingert says, if you’re interested in donating, there is no need to worry about how it might affect you physically.

“Maybe for the first half hour, you feel a little sluggish,” Wingert said. “But, you have something to drink. You have something to eat and within an hour you are back to yourself.”

If you’re interested in donating blood, the Wilmington Blood Donation Center located at 1102 S 16th street will be holding a drive Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.