With everything else going on in our lives for the past 10 days or so (storms, power outages, extreme heat for the entire period), it's easy to forget about a dire need in the region - blood.
American Red Cross officials are reminding us about that shortage. The Red Cross is the primary supplier of blood for Camden-Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg, in addition to being tied into a nationwide sharing system.
Normally, Red Cross officials like to have a five-day supply of donated blood on hand. Currently, that supply is down to one day. Strong blood collection numbers are needed over the next few weeks of summer to rebuild the supply.
For sure, getting the necessary blood will be a challenge, given the fact that the attention of many people will be on storm recovery, vacations, and back-to-school shopping to name a few distractions.
But we want to urge anyone able to give to do so. All blood types are needed. The call for help goes out especially for high school and college students in the area, who, officials say, amount to 30 percent of annual donations.
Your community needs your help.
Sheri Schwartz, executive director of the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, made a good point in the Friday edition of The Marietta Times: "We are in critical need of blood and would hate for it to be your relative or you yourself and not have enough blood to go around."
The Memorial Health System also is experiencing a shortage, too, according to Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing and public relations.
Memorial's supply is low, but not yet critical, Offenberger said. With its own blood bank, Memorial doesn't rely on the Red Cross.
But the bottom line is blood donations are down all around and donations are needed. Please consider giving. Check with the Red Cross and Memorial Health System for times and places to give what many people call "the gift of life."