There’s no way to predict when or where an accident will happen. That’s why the American Red Cross needs donors to give blood and platelets during Trauma Awareness Month this May and throughout the year to help ensure that trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured patient arrives.
In December 2017, Jeff Gosliga was rushed to the hospital following a car accident. To treat his serious injuries, he needed 11 units of blood – about the amount of blood in an average adult’s body.
“I never had reason to think a lot about blood, where it came from or how it arrived at hospitals; my accident changed all of that,” said Gosliga. “It was touch-and-go for a while, and because the blood that I needed was available, I’m here today. I am so grateful to all of the volunteer blood donors who give of themselves so generously. I will never forget them or take blood donation for granted again.”
Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to help meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
In thanks, all those who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross May 1 through June 10, 2019, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
When every second matters
Major traumas can quickly deplete a hospital’s blood supply. By giving blood, platelets or plasma regularly, donors can help ensure that enough blood is on the shelves for patients when every second matters.
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 because they can be transfused to patients of any blood type. 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.
How to donate blood
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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
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.