While the Labor Day weekend is a time of celebration for most Marylanders, it is a dismal time for the Red Cross, especially this year. The traditional methods for recruiting blood donations slow predictably in the summer anyway -- school is out, people go away on vacation. Now, however, the Red Cross says the economy is slowing blood donations as well because many of the workers who have been laid off have left the area, further cutting the pool of possible donors.
As a result, the Red Cross of the Chesapeake region finds itself with the lowest blood supply it has had in two years. That means, of course, that elective surgeries will be postponed. But even that won't give the Red Cross enough stock to fill the need over the upcoming holiday weekend, when accident rates usually rise and emergency rooms are strapped. Anticipating the great need, the Red Cross has launched a statewide appeal for blood. Everyone who can give should do so.