Here's how many Red Cross blood donations are needed for various surgeries

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Northern Ohio American Red Cross is in a critical blood shortage and asking for donations.

The summer shortage happens every year around the Fourth of July because there simply aren't the same number of blood drives because of the holiday. In Northern Ohio there are 700 fewer blood drives during the week of the holiday, compared to the week before and the week after the Fourth. This is on top of fewer donations over the past two months that has seen 61,000 fewer donations than normal.

This means the Red Cross has had to dip into and use its blood supply reserve that it sends to hospitals. That's why the Red Cross is encouraging anyone who can to find a location and donate.  The local Red Cross has put out some statistics to show why they are in such need:

  • In the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region, more than 3,900 fewer donations were collected than needed during May and June contributing to the overall shortfall.
  • In the months of June, July and August, we see approximately two fewer donations per blood drive, which is more than a 6 percent drop in donations during that time.
  • Also, only about 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood, and less than 10 percent of those eligible actually do so new donors are always needed.
  • Right now, the Red Cross has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. We strive to keep a five-day supply on hand at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that would require significant volumes of donated blood products.

The average adult has 8-12 pints of blood traveling all over their body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation. A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days or Power Red every 112 days. A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year, according to the Red Cross.

Most people might know their blood type, but do you know how much blood is used in surgery? When you see the numbers provided by Rock River Valley Blood Center it makes it pretty clear why donations are so important.

*1 unit of blood - 1 pint

Do you know your blood type?

Some blood types are very rare which is why its important that those with AB positive,  O negative, A negative, B negative and AB negative try to donate as often as possible. Here is the break-down of the types of blood by and frequency in Americans.

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