Summer, A Time To Donate Blood

Legislative column by Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua)
July 18, 2008

Summer is a time to relax, enjoy the warm weather while spending time with friends and family. Many people fill up their schedules with long weekends and planned vacations in an effort to leave their responsibilities behind and simply enjoy life. However, for people in need of blood transfusions, the summer months can be difficult due to a shortage in supply.

The American Red Cross tells us that during summer months blood donations typically drop 10 to 15 percent. This is a significant amount considering that the Red Cross strives to keep a five-to-seven day supply on hand to ensure that hospitals are serviced with the blood they need. That is why today, I join the Red Cross in asking for your help by donating blood that can save someone’s life.

It is important to remember that a stable blood supply is a precious, public health staple. When a personal medical crisis or a disaster occurs, blood must be ready and available. In the United States, one person every two seconds will need blood. In order to meet the demand, the Red Cross must hold blood banks every day and recruit enough donors to increase their supply.

Donating blood takes no more than an hour and can save up to three lives. In order to be a blood donor, a person must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. In New York State, 16-year-olds may donate blood provided they bring an original signed parental permission form. All types of blood are needed, but the Red Cross reports that Type O negative and A negative are at the lowest.

Recently, I hosted a blood bank in Canandaigua and will look to hold more of them throughout my Assembly District. However, you do not need to wait for one. You can make an appointment to donate blood by contacting the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543) or visit their Web site at

As always, constituents with questions regarding this topic or any other state-related matter should contact my district office at (315) 255-3045 or e-mail me at