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Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelets

US Embassy Canada

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations. Donations were down about 10% in June and the first week of July, which translates to about 50,000 fewer donations overall.

Todd Kulman is a spokesman for the Red Cross Great Lakes Region. He says a dip in donations during the summer is normal, but donations this season have been lower than expected.

"When you make a donation with the American Red Cross, you are helping a number of people in the hospitals of all ages, be it newborns all the way up to the elderly, that may be in the hospital for a number of these types of ailments," he said. "You'll certainly be helping save someone's life with that donation."

While this decrease in donations is similar to the dip the Red Cross experienced in June 2012, Kulman says this season has seen an especially low number of donations.

"The need for blood is constant, and every two seconds somebody in the United States needs a blood transfusion, and those can go to help a number of people in the hospitals," he said. "Accident victims, for instance, is something we see a lot during the summer time."

Kulman says blood and platelet donations help with a variety of medical issues such as bone marrow transplants, open heart surgeries and cancer patients.

-Sarah Kerson, Michigan Radio Newsroom