Giving blood around July 4th helps to strengthen the area's blood supply during the heart of summer. There is no shortage, but donations of the gift of life typically decrease this time of year, with vacations and summer activities.
"It's a need that goes on every single day. It doesn't take a vacation even when we do."
Cortney Martin is with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. Every 2 seconds, someone in America needs blood and she says here, that need is for more than a thousand donations each day.
"It's very easy. You have to be 17 years old, 110 pounds and in good general health, or if you're 16-years old, 122 pounds, and in good general health, you can give blood with a parent's permission. If you're a diabetic, as long as you're feeling well and healthy, you can give blood also."
She says even though it has a limited shelf life, the different components of blood can last from 5-days to a year, frozen.
"Every whole blood donation is divided into three component: that's platlets, plasma and red blood cells, and each of those components can go to help a different patient. For example, platlets can help someone who has cancer. Plasma is used for burn or shock victims, and then red blood cells are most commonly used for surgery patients or trauma patients."
All blood types are always needed, and Martin says a program called Type Matters, helps donors contribute to their blood type.
"If you have Type-A for example, we want you to give platlets. If you have Type-O, we want you to give whole blood. If you have Type-B, we want you to give whole blood or platlets. If you have AB, we want you to give plasma so, all types are needed. It just depends on what you are, to determine what kind ofÎ¾ blood you're going to give."
For more information on where to give blood this weekend, log on to www.giveblood.org.