The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors — now more than ever — to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative, to meet patient demand this summer.
An unseasonably early start to spring may be a contributing factor to this year’s decrease in donations. Many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren’t taking time to give blood or platelets. In addition, this year’s mid-week Fourth of July holiday has reduced the number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives. Many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations.
“Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood for patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. In Dallas, the Red Cross is hoping for 200 additional units of blood between today and Saturday, July 7, to help relieve the current shortage,” said Steve Nagle, CEO of the Red Cross Southwest Blood Services Region. “We need donors to make appointments in the coming days and weeks to help us ensure that all patient blood needs can be met. Each pint of whole blood can help save more than one life.”
Blood is needed for those like Grand Prairie resident Chris. A self-employed horse trainer, Chris was recently seriously injured when a horse he was working with flipped on top of him and pinned him to the pavement. During a long, slow recovery, Chris's life was saved by the units of blood he received.
The dates, times and locations of open-to-the-public drives can be found by entering a ZIP code at www.redcrossblood.org.
Also, those who present to donate will still receive a rock-‘n’-roll-themed T-shirt and the opportunity to register to win a Gibson guitar, courtesy of the Gibson Foundation.
“There is always the chance that a physician could postpone an elective surgery if the needed blood products aren’t readily available or, in a worst-case scenario, have to forego a more serious procedure because of a shortage of blood,” Nagle added. “Our goal is to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
Unfortunately, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood products. The need is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies — when there are complications during childbirth — and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
The Red Cross is reaching out to eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to ask them to recruit blood donors to help meet the needs of patients in communities across the U.S.
Source: American Red Cross