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Health, Science & Tech

Blood Donations Drop During Holiday Season, Though Need Continues

It’s the “season of giving” but in the hustle and bustle of the season, some forget that can also mean giving blood. Each year, blood and platelet donations drop off during this time of year, according to the American Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. There are several reasons for the decline.

“One is the holidays,” said spokeswoman Marianna Spampinato. “People are busy shopping, baking, decorating, enjoying themselves – which is great, but meanwhile, patients are still in hospitals needing transfusions.”

Other reasons include inclement weather and the onset of cold and flu season. As the supply decreases this time of year, the need does not.

“Every two seconds someone in our country needs a blood transfusion,” said Spampinato. “To help meet these needs for the hospitals we serve, and we serve about 2,700 hospitals across the United States, we need to collect 15,000 units of blood every day to meet the needs of patients in these facilities.”

Those patients include accident victims and those who are chronically ill and require transfusions on an ongoing basis.

There are numerous blood drives happening across the region, all of which can be found online. As an extra incentive, between December 24 and January 3rd, individuals who donate blood or platelets at participating blood drives, will receive a free 2 ounce brick of coffee and a coupon for one free pound of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.