Meghan’s “right now” needs for blood
At any time, a patient can require an immense quantity of blood. For first-time mom Meghan Jolliffe, the need was immediate after suffering an amniotic fluid embolism. Her heart stopped beating for 14 minutes, and doctors had no time to waste. They needed to perform an emergency cesarean section. During delivery, her organs shut down, and her blood would not clot. Meghan needed multiple medical procedures that spanned a seven-hour period and received close to 100 units of blood from generous donors. Her newborn son, Sullivan, experienced complications after birth and would also need several units of blood. Collectively they received 109 units of blood.
“My family and I are forever grateful for the generosity of Red Cross volunteer blood donors,” said Jolliffe. “Donating blood is so important. You or a loved one may never need these lifesaving products, but I can assure you that someone, somewhere will.”
Blood transfusion is one of the most common inpatient hospital procedures in the U.S., and these blood products can only come from volunteer donors. Yet, only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood.
Don’t wait to give
The Red Cross urges individuals across the country to roll up a sleeve today to ensure blood is available for patients across the country. A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes.
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.