‘Butler’s Biggest’ set for Thursday

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The summer is generally associated with vacation, recreation and relaxation. But for those who find themselves in need of blood due to accidents, natural disasters or the need for surgery, summer can also be a time of uncertainty, as blood stocks are generally low during the season in which they are most needed.

Volunteer blood donors in Butler County will get a chance to give blood and save lives at the “Butler’s Biggest” blood drive, scheduled for Thursday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Greenville.

The summer is tough on the blood supply in the region for several reasons. First school is out during the summer months. Students in high school and college comprise 21 percent of blood donors in this region, and when they aren’t available for donations at their respective schools, the blood inventory suffers. Also, because the summertime is a period filled with outdoor recreation, increased outside labor and more frequent vacation travel, an increase in the number of accidents has historically served to further deplete the blood supply.

Email newsletter signup

The situation is further compounded by the increase in the frequency of dangerous tropical activity during the summer months in the form of hurricanes and tropical storms, both of which not only cause an increase in the demand for blood but also disrupt collection efforts. These factors together create one of the toughest times of the year for the blood inventory, and the American Red Cross counts on selfless donors to roll up their sleeves and fill in the gaps in the blood supply through summer blood drives.

Because blood can be separated into three components – blood, platelets and plasma – one donation can benefit up to three individuals. Because it takes up to three days for blood to be processed and made available to hospitals, it is important that a donation be made ahead of an emergency. If everyone who was eligible would donate four times a year, there would never be a blood shortage.

All presenting volunteer donors in the months of July, August and September are entered into the July “Super Summer Save” promotion for a chance at $3,000 in American Express gift cards.

To make an appointment, please visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code “BBIG.”