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Red Cross blood supplies already down for the start of long summer

The livin’ ain’t quite so easy In the summertime if you’re with the American Red Cross.

The venerable health/relief agency routinely copes with a lack of blood donations during the warmer months. The agency’s traditional donors are away on vacation or otherwise out of their normal routines, says Tad Roose, communications specialist for the American Red Cross Blood Service Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Region.

To make things worse, high school and college students &045;&045; who contribute about 20 percent of the total blood donations during the school year &045;&045; are likewise not available to donate.

In fact, Roose says, not only are donations down in the summer, but the need for blood is up.

Though Roose was unable to give specific details about Selma and Dallas County, blood donations for the Gulf Coast region are lagging already, he says.

The situation has become so critical, Roose says, that some hospitals in the region have had to postpone surgeries because they didn’t have enough blood.

Local residents will have chances to help alleviate the situation, though, during two upcoming blood drives. The first will be from 2-7 p.m., June 24 at the Selma Mall; the second will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Selma Department of Human Resources, 200 Samuel Mosley Ave. People interested in donating blood must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.

For more information, contact the Red Cross at 1-800-766-8680.