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Red Cross encourages blood donations amid decline

The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate blood because there has been a decline in the amount of blood and platelet donations.

“We know that people are busy, especially this time of year. There's graduations and weddings and travel,” said Susan Thesenga, a regional communications manager for the American Red Cross. “And so typically we do see a drop in donation appointments this time of year, because everybody is busy. So, [we are] trying to just build awareness for all eligible people to make a donation appointment and keep it.”

To combat this annual decline, the Red Cross is hosting blood drives in the Minnesota and Dakotas region until June 15.

“It’s vital for donors to make and keep their appointments during the month of May, to keep hospital shelves fully stocked so we can help all patients throughout the spring,” Thesenga said.

Eligible donors can schedule an appointment on the Red Cross blood donor app, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Elizabeth is an intern with South Dakota Public Broadcasting.