The number of people giving blood typically drops at this time of year and the American Red Cross wants to remind people that hospital patients still need blood to help them on their road to recovery.
“Many people are just not available to give blood at this time of the year,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “Schools are not in session, businesses are on holiday schedules and people are on vacation. We’re asking everyone to remember those who need blood and to add giving blood to their summer plans.”
WHY PEOPLE GIVE People donate blood for many reasons. Most know of someone who needed blood. Some needed blood themselves. Here are some stories from Red Cross blood donors.
.“Over 25 years ago, I was in a very serious automobile accident and lost a lot of blood,” Dean recalled. “I needed a great deal of blood to help me recover, which I did. During my freshman year in college, I saw a Red Cross flier advertising a campus blood drive. It hit me at that moment that other people had donated blood that helped me recover from my accident and I could do the same thing to help other people with similar needs. I donated my first pint of blood during that blood drive and have been donating as often as I can ever since.”
Tammy overcame her fear of needles when her young son needed blood. “I used to be very afraid of needles and as a result would not even think of donating blood,” she said. “However, when I found out that my son had an immune system disorder that requires he receive an intravenous blood product every month, probably for the rest of his life, I was inspired to face my fear and began donating regularly. It feels great to give back.”
For almost 30 years, Karen has been giving blood after she learned first-hand how important it is to have blood available when someone needs it. “In 1984 a tubal pregnancy burst, causing me to bleed internally,” she said. “My doctor said I was about 30 minutes from dead because I had already lost several pints of blood. Without the O-positive transfusions I received, someone else would have had to raise my children. I survived and was able to raise my kids and kept the commitment I made in 1984 to give blood regularly as soon as I was able. It really does not take that long to make a blood donation, and as I well know, blood donations save lives.”
SPECIAL NEED FOR NEGATIVE BLOOD TYPES Summer is one of the most difficult times of the year for the Red Cross to recruit enough blood donors to meet the needs of patients and this summer is no different. The Red Cross asks that anyone who is eligible to give blood please consider making a donation appointment now. All blood types are needed, especially donors with O-Negative and Positive, A-Negative and B-Negative blood.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. It must be at least 56 days since your last blood donation.
To make an appointment to give blood or find a blood drive near you, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.