MANNING - Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and that number escalates during the summer months when individuals and families are recreationally more active and traveling more.
Every hour of the day, almost 2,000 people across the nation need blood. That equates to the need for almost 36,000 units of red blood cells every day, which doesn't include the need for nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma on a daily basis.
The American Red Cross relies on volunteer donors to provide the nation with 40 percent of the blood and blood components that are needed to fulfill the never-ending demand for blood.
While the need for blood is paramount, the number of Americans who are eligible to donate blood or platelets is less than 38 percent nationwide.
The average red blood cell transfusion is about three units, and the shelf life per unit is short with red blood cells needing to be used within 42 days or less and platelets needing to be used within only five days.
Blood is needed for surgeries, cancer treatments, chronic illnesses as well as traumatic injuries. One victim of a car wreck could require as much as 100 units of blood during treatment.
In order to keep blood banks adequately stocked, there is a constant need for new donors and blood drives.
A local church and a community-minded local resident have planned two blood drives in July.
From noon to 5 p.m. on July 6, Seacoast Manning is hosting a blood drive at Seacoast House, 202 N. Church St. All donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. All donors will receive an exclusive Wonder Woman T-shirt and a free ice cream from Marble Slab. To schedule an appointment to donate, log onto www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: Seacoast.
From 1 to 6 p.m. on July 19, Margaret Adams Walker is hosting a blood drive at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 105 Dinkins St., Manning. All donors will need to register online at www.redcrossblood.org. Walker, whose birthday falls in July, chooses to give the gift that keeps on giving in lieu of birthday gifts.
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