January 12, 2010 - The American Red Cross made an appearance on the CBS Early Show this morning to recognize blood donors across the country and highlight the current need for O-Negative blood donations.
January is National Blood Donor Month, set aside to honor those who give blood. More than 35 volunteers from across the northeastern corner of the country appeared on CBS with Donna Morrissey, Director of Communications for the Northeast Blood Services Division, to thank blood donors for the impact they have on the health of communities across the nation.
Part of their message included a call for people with O-Negative blood to donate if they are eligible. Currently there is only a little more than a day’s supply of O-Negative blood available in Red Cross Blood Centers across the country.
O-Negative is the universal blood type – it can be given to anyone. In emergency situations when doctors don’t have time to get the patient’s blood type, they may give the patient O-Negative blood. There must always be enough O-Negative blood to handle the needs of patients with that blood type, as well as patients who will receive O-Negative in a crisis.
Every two seconds, someone needs blood. Roughly 39,000 units of blood are needed each day across this country to help patients suffering from trauma, illnesses and injuries. The winter season can be a very difficult time to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients. With winter weather blanketing much of the country, it’s even more important that those who are eligible to donate come forward to give the gift of life.
Call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to learn more and make an appointment to donate blood. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.