Blood and Platelet Donations Needed Every Day to Respond to Patient Emergencies
Like the Emergency Room of a hospital, the American Red Cross must be prepared to respond to patient emergencies with blood products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Through the everyday support and generosity of blood and platelet donors, the Red Cross can be prepared to do this day-in and day-out, no matter when or where these blood products are needed.
“The Red Cross is very appreciative of our loyal blood and platelet donors who give of themselves to help save the lives of others,” said Mario Sedlock, director of donor services, American Red Cross, Southern Blood Services Region. “We would not be able to meet the needs of patients in the hospitals that we serve without their support.”
Sedlock stated that the support of donors is particularly important during the winter months. The Southern Blood Services Region has seen a 20 percent decrease in blood donations over the last three weeks. This decline is not uncommon during the winter when holiday planning, seasonal illness and travel often prevent donors from making their regular blood donations.
Each day, approximately 44,000 units of blood are needed for patients in the United States. In fact, approximately every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. All eligible donors are encouraged to become an Everyday supporter of the Red Cross and their communities by giving blood or platelets this winter.
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 permission 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 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.