Dr. Ben Carson signs up to donate blood alongside HUD employees
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 2, 2017) – The Department of Housing and Urban Development helped the American Red Cross kick off Trauma Awareness Month by hosting blood drives across the country.
Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, urged all HUD locations to host blood drives. Carson was first in line to give blood on Monday morning alongside the HUD employees at their headquarters in Washington D.C.
“I am so proud of all the HUD employees who joined me today at the Red Cross blood drive to help ensure that doctors across the country have access to the blood that their patients need,” Carson said. “Today’s blood drive is a reminder that you don’t have to be a doctor to help save lives.”
During Trauma Awareness Month in May, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to help ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients with traumatic injuries and other serious medical needs by donating blood or platelets.
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.
“A single car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma.”
O negative red blood cells and AB plasma can be transfused into any patient, regardless of blood type, making donors with these universal blood types an important part of the Red Cross trauma team. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.
Platelets may also be needed to help with clotting in cases of massive bleeding. Because platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, there is a constant – often critical – need to keep up with hospital demand.
Blood and platelet donors of all types are currently needed. Those who come out to donate blood or platelets by May 14 will have a chance to win one of three $1,000 gift card shopping sprees from GiftCertificates.com. Donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).