May is Trauma Awareness Month, and the American Red Cross is urging all eligible donors to help ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients with traumatic injuries and other serious medical needs by donating blood.
Traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death in people under age 45 and result in 150,000 deaths annually. A person can die from blood loss in just five minutes. According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions in the U.S. annually.
Fortunately, there is something you can do. You can learn from Red Cross experts about First Aid for Severe Trauma™(FAST™) — a Red Cross training program on responding to severe injuries. FAST prepares you with skills that go beyond the basics and can help you recognize and stop a life-threatening bleeding emergency, help you to ensure safety and communicate effectively during the emergency, and teach you how to apply direct pressure and use a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding from occurring. While FAST is available for everyone, the course and digital materials are offered at no charge to high school students under the age of 19.
By being prepared you could potentially save a life, but it is just as important to be there after the initial injury is under control. Often the most critical element of a medical emergency is the availability of blood. A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood which shows just how important every single blood donation is.
There have been many groundbreaking discoveries in medicine over the years, but there’s still no substitute for blood. Blood can’t be manufactured and can only come from donors like you. Whether through participating in the (FAST™) training program or by giving blood, your selfless choice to help others could be the very thing that saves someone’s life.