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Red Cross Blood Supply Drops

Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region

July 11, 2011
 

 

The American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region today issued an appeal for blood donors.

Many donors are busy or traveling, school is out of session and a decrease in donations in May and June has foreshadowed the traditional summertime decline in donations. Even though demand for blood remained steady during this same period, the decrease in donations means the Red Cross needs people - now more than ever - to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All types are needed, but especially O negative, which can be used to treat any patient.

The Red Cross has responded to more than 40 major disasters in more than 30 states over the past three months alone - delivering help and hope to people affected by floods, tornadoes and wildfires. But there's another, more personal, kind of disaster which can happen to anyone at any time if blood is needed and it's not available.

"As a physician, I have seen first hand how blood transfusions can truly help save lives," said Dr. Mary Jo Drew, Medical Director for the Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. "The potential for a blood shortage could have a devastating effect on a patient whose survival may depend on blood being there when needed."

Everyone knows someone who has needed a blood transfusion, and those personal stories from our loved ones, friends, and neighbors highlight just how important each and every blood donation can be. Because of that, 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 United States.

The Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to more than 80 hospitals and must have approximately 1,100 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Donor eligibility involves minimum age, weight and health requirements. Donors must present a donor card, driver's license or two other forms of ID prior to donation. Individuals unable to donate blood can still make a contribution by sponsoring a Red Cross blood drive or volunteering with a local Red Cross Blood Services Region, making a financial contribution, or by learning more about the American Red Cross Humanitarian Services.

Our First-Time Donor section includes information about what to expect when giving blood, tips for a successful donation, and an explanation of what happens to your donated blood.

Eligible blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit us online to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.