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Red Cross expects decline in blood and platelet donations

Greater Chesapeake & Potomac Region

December 23, 2013
 

Please add the gift of life to your holiday giving list

BALTIMORE – (December 17, 2013) – The Red Cross typically sees a decline in donations during the winter holiday season. Individuals can help the Red Cross and hospital patients this month while discovering the true meaning of the season by giving a generous gift of a blood or platelet donation. Each donation made can help save up to three lives.

“Hospital patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood and platelets,” said Steve Mavica, spokesperson for the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region. “The closer we get to the major holiday week, the more we see donations decline. People are busy with gift shopping, holiday parties and there is an overall sense of distraction. We need donors to come in and give before they get too busy with other things.”

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. On average, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Blood donations are used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies and those living with chronic blood diseases each and every day.

Blood donors are encouraged to invite a loved one to follow in their footsteps and donate blood this holiday season. Visit http://rcblood.org/HolidayPostcard to upload a picture of your Red Cross blood donation and send a postcard to a loved one. For more information or to make an appointment to give blood or platelets, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors who are 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has been a primary supplier of lifesaving blood products in the United States for more than 50 years. The Red Cross Blood Services - Northeast Division must distribute approximately 3,000 units of blood each day just to meet the basic needs of area patients.  Eligible volunteer blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make appointments.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in New York State), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.