Local donations to the Topeka Blood Bank, which supplies Lawrence Memorial Hospital with blood products, and the local American Red Cross blood center have picked up, donor recruitment officials report.
Jill Hummels, a Lawrence woman who heads up donor recruitment for the Topeka Blood Bank, said, "Right now we're doing OK." In April, Hummels had said the blood bank was encountering problems getting local donations.
She said Thursday that some local groups had signed up for blood drives.
"We have a fair number of drives scheduled during the summer," Hummels said, adding that she believed five drives were scheduled for July and a couple of drives were scheduled for June. In addition, the blood bank is working on setting up blood drives for August and September.
DONATIONS typically lag during the summer months, Hummels said.
Hummels said the blood bank has collected 276 donations in Douglas County since it was awarded Lawrence Memorial Hospital's blood services contract in October. She said the blood bank expected to collect at least 520 more donations by the end of the year. That figure is based on the drives already scheduled, and the blood bank expects more blood drives will be scheduled before the end of the year.
Officials at the local American Red Cross blood center also say donations are picking up, but they are still behind their goal.
In response to the slowdown of donations, the local Red Cross blood center, 329 Mo., expanded its hours. Gayle Sigurdson, a Red Cross donor recruitment associate at the local blood center, echoed Hummels and said "right now we're doing fine."
BUT SHE also stressed that donations slow down in the summer, when the need for blood increases.
Kalen Larson, director of communications for American Red Cross Blood Services, Wichita region, said that in March, the latest figures available, the local center was at 60 percent of its goal. The center's goal is to collect 20 units of blood a day.
Sigurdson said things have picked up recently, and Larson said donations have increased regionwide for the Red Cross.