Summer is tough for blood banks. People are busy with vacations and other activities and donating blood is just not top of mind. Schools are not in session and so the student donations - both high schools and colleges – also decrease.
While donations in the summer tend to decrease, the need increases. In addition to all the usual procedures that require blood, we see an increase in need due to traumas such as motorcycle and car accidents along with burns often resulting from fireworks or camp fires. Some victims can require large amounts of blood depending on the severity of their injuries.
Mercy Hospital St. Louis is the only hospital in Missouri that has its own mobile blood drives to maintain supply. When you give blood or platelets, you give the gift of life to someone. Every day, people of all ages and from all walks of life will unexpectedly need blood. They could be accident victims, cancer patients, someone undergoing surgery, or the tiny babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Your blood donation directly helps the people who need it most. It costs you nothing to give and your donation makes a positive difference in the life of another person.
As a point of reference, a car accident trauma patient might need four to 12 units of packed red cells. Monthly usage for Mercy St. Louis and Mercy Washington alone is more than 1,100 units.
To donate blood you have to be between the ages of 16 (with parental consent) and 78, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. The Blood Donor Services offices at both Mercy Hospital St. Louis and Mercy Hospital Washington offer a wide range of hours to accommodate your schedule.
For more information, please visit our Blood Donor site.