By Christian Sullivan
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana faces a critically low blood inventory due to a lack of donors during the week of the Fourth of July.
Less than a two-day supply is considered critical, and Indiana reached less than a half-day supply last week.
A banner thanking all volunteers for their donation. Photo by Taylor Brown, TheStatehouseFile.com
Andrea Fagan, director of public relations and marketing for the Indiana Blood Center, said the day of the week that the holiday falls on has a big impact.
“Falling close to the middle of the week, like it did this year, we lose more days of collection opportunity,” she said.
This situation is typical this time of year though.
“Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekend — all are very difficult,” said Fagan. “It is hard for us to maintain the proper inventory levels, the proper supply of blood.”
The shortage of blood happens on holidays due to the increase of people traveling. That means they are not available to donate when they normally are able to. Additionally, companies and organizations are less willing to host mobile drive events during the holiday due to the number of employees taking vacation.
The blood shortage is not just statewide, but nationwide. According to America’s Blood Centers, the shortage started in Los Angeles, but the Midwest has been hit the hardest, including cities like Chicago and Cleveland.
Indiana’s blood supply is increasing this week, but still sits under two days. To find a place to donate blood, visit IndianaBloodCenter.org/locations or call 1-800-632-4722.
“We’ve made an improvement,” Fagan said, “but we are not out of the woods yet.”
Christian Sullivan is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.