There are a couple of area blood drives coming up. There is a blood drive at the North Salem firehouse from 2 to 6pm this afternoon, and a blood drive at Newtown Congregational Church next Tuesday.
Summer typically is a tough time for the Red Cross to collect blood, mainly because of vacations. In order to meet just the basic needs of area patients, the Red Cross has to collect 650 units of blood each day to supply the 31 hospitals in Connecticut.
Blood donations are divided into three parts: red cells, plasma and platelets. People undergoing chemotherapy need platelets, burn and shock victims need plasma, and incidents where trauma results in blood loss- red cells are needed.
Red Cross officials say 44-percent of people are universal donors, meaning their O-positive blood type can be given to anyone. The Red Cross is reminding potential donors there is no artificial substitute for blood, they are the only way to give the gift of life.