Lower Than Expected Blood Donations Impact Blood Supplies; Immediate Donations Needed

January 20, 2012

American Red Cross officials urge blood and platelet donations

The American Red Cross is urging the public to donate blood now and in the upcoming weeks to help rebuild blood supplies. Lower than expected blood donor turnout the first two weeks of January resulted in overall inventories being extremely low, with blood types O negative and O positive at critical levels.

Winter is already an historically a challenging time to meet collections goals, with the Greater Alleghenies Region experiencing its first weather-related cancellations of this winter season on January 13. These and other cancellations further depleted an already low blood supply. Please make an immediate commitment to donate blood. We needed to collect over 900 blood and platelet donors every day, but has seen far fewer than that this month. 

Like the Emergency Room of a hospital, the American Red Cross must be prepared to respond to patient emergencies with blood products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Through the everyday support and generosity of blood and platelet donors, the Red Cross can be prepared to do this day-in and day-out, no matter when or where these blood products are needed.

Each day, approximately 44,000 units of blood are needed for patients in the United States.  In fact, approximately every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood.

Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type. Donors of all blood types are needed daily.

To make a donor appointment: http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation