Red Cross has critical need for platelets and O negative blood products
LODI, Wis. — Brad Morter of Lodi will officially reach a milestone of 100 gallons of donated blood on Thursday, March 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the American Red Cross Madison Blood Donation Center, 4860 Sheboygan Road.
Joining an elite status of Red Cross blood donors, Brad intends to continue to regularly donate blood and platelets to help ensure no patient goes without.
Morter was first motivated to give blood when the need hit close to work. Years ago, a co-worker was diagnosed with cancer and required numerous blood transfusions. Morter says he first donated blood to the Red Cross in 1979 making this year his 38th year as a loyal blood donor.
“People don’t realize just how easy it is to give blood and help others,” said Morter. “It’s so sad when you see people going through cancer. So this is my way of helping them out.”
Not only is Morter a frequent blood donor with the Red Cross, but he is an active volunteer. For nearly 20 years, Morter has volunteered at blood drives throughout the area and most recently has been accepted as a volunteer transportation specialist for the Red Cross.
“We are inspired by Brad’s actions to support the Red Cross and for helping to save lives,” said Sonja Juric, donor recruitment director for the American Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “Blood and platelet donations are needed so patients can receive lifesaving treatments. The joy is ours in telling his story and encouraging others to give blood, volunteer and follow in his footsteps.”
The Red Cross has a critical need for platelet and type O negative blood donors to give now and help save lives. Platelets are tiny cells in the blood that form clots and stop bleeding. Although they are needed for many reasons, cancer patients often rely on platelets during treatment. Platelets must be transfused within just five days after donation – so there is a constant, often critical need for new and current donors to give to keep up with hospital demand for platelets. By giving platelets regularly, donors can help patients kick cancer and recover from other life-threatening illnesses and injuries.
Type O negative donors are an important part of the Red Cross trauma team. Because it is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients with any blood type, type O negative blood is what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. Less than 7 percent of the U.S. population has type O negative blood. Because there is such a high demand for type O negative blood, these donors are needed to donate regularly.
Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood. The Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide.
Blood donors of all types are needed. Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 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 have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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.