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Summer blood donations down in Douglas County, putting supply at critical lows

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David J. Phillip
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AP
Oregon hospitals rely on a steady, replenished blood supply from donors. Right now, most of the state is at vulnerable supply levels.

Emergency blood supplies in Oregon hospitals are at vulnerable levels across Oregon. In Douglas County, the American Red Cross reports life-saving blood donations are at a critical low.

Val Gordon works for the Red Cross in Coos and Douglas counties. As we approach the height of summer, she said sign- ups for blood donations are very low and there’s been a lot of “no shows.”

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Val Gordon
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American Red Cross
Val Gordon manages American Red Cross donation accounts for Douglas and Coos counties. Here she stands with Blood Drop during a blood drive.

Gordon said this is serious because hospitals rely on a steady supply of donor blood. “I did talk to a doctor and I asked, ‘what do you do when you first come in? What’s the very first thing on your agenda?’ And the doctor said, ‘I check my blood supply and when I do that, I determine which surgeries I’m actually going to do.’”

Gordon said blood drives are happening now in your zip code. Donation takes about an hour. The Red Cross finds that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. requires emergency blood.

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Val Gordon
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American Red Cross
Emergency personnel know first-hand the importance of an adequate blood supply. Police and Fire departments regularly hold blood drives, according to Red Cross staff.

Click here to make an appointment to donate blood wherever you live.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.