When 49 lives were taken and more than were 50 injured in a mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend, officials said people flooded the local blood bank
“The natural instinct for most people is what can we do to help, how can we help, and there is usually just a great outpouring of people that want to donate,” said Eric Anderson, board of directors, American Red Cross. “What we usually say or tell them is you have a chance to help right in your very own community.”
Experts said the shelf life for a blood donation is only 42 days.
“Tragedy is an everyday occurrence. You can see on the news that there are always car accidents, domestic violence things of that nature. So, there is always a need,” said Amy Dyson, team and site supervisor, Frederick donation center.
Officials said they see about 20 to 30 donors a day, but that’s not enough.
Glenn Weigle from New Market said he has been doing it for 32 years.
“It is something I like to do,” Weigle said. “I think it is something we need to do because you never know when you need blood yourself and when other people in the world are going to have reasons for needing blood.
As the need for blood is high, the need for platelet donations is even greater.
“Platelets, which people can give more frequently and go to help such as cancer patients, are only five days, so there is a constant need,” Anderson said.
Officials said donations are more scarce in the summer months.
The American Red Cross said that one pint of blood can save three lives. To be eligible to donate, you must be 17 years old, at least 110 pounds and in good health.