American Red Cross Issues Emergency Call for Blood Donors Now
The American Red Cross national blood supply has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected over the last month across the country. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year.
The Red Cross is calling on all who may be eligible to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed nationally and locally in Central Ohio, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient needs this summer.
Contributing factors to the drop in blood donations include the extreme heat which has kept many at home, as well as a series of severe storms resulting in extended power outages which forced the cancellation of dozens of blood drives earlier in the month.
“We are seeing many blood drives with very few people coming to give, and with the heat, we understand why they may want to stay in,” said Cindy Shanklin, executive director for the American Red Cross of Madison County. “Blood drives are always temperature controlled, so you know you can stay cool while helping save lives,” said Shanklin.
The Central Ohio Red Cross supports patients at 42 area hospitals, and has an average daily need of 800 units of blood. If at least two additional donors give at each blood drive through the end of July – above what the American Red Cross already expects to collect – the blood supply would be sufficient to meet patient needs.
The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies – when there are complications during childbirth – and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
To find a blood drive opportunity convenient for you, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or visit redcrossblood.org.