Blood donations key to National Preparedness Month
The American Red Cross is among a coalition of organizations encouraging Americans to observe the Eighth Annual National Preparedness Month this September by doing simple things that make a difference when every second counts.
The Red Cross recommends three things most everyone can do to prepare for disasters or other emergencies: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed.
“The beauty is, those steps can be taken in advance, helping most everyone to be prepared,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for the American Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region.
Supporting blood donation or giving blood is also critical to any community preparedness plan since hospitals need blood on the shelves to respond to patient needs. Hospital patients need about 40,000 blood donations each day for ongoing or emergency medical needs. And when adequate supplies of blood are available every day of every week, the Red Cross can help ensure a swift response when and if blood needs intensify.
Blood is typically available to patients 24 to 48 hours from the point of donation because of the various steps involved in testing, processing, and distributing components like red cells, platelets and plasma. While many people roll up their sleeves during times of disaster, the key to a strong blood supply, Red Cross officials say, are steady and consistent donations throughout the year.
“It’s human nature to want to help when disasters strike,” said Wilson. “By taking some precautionary steps today—like donating blood regularly—you’ll be helping, too, since you’re empowering yourself and our nation to face the unexpected.”
For more information on being Red Cross Ready and for preparedness fast facts, visit redcross.org.
To find a blood donationa opportunity, click the blue donation appointment button above or call 1-800-RED CROSS.