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Blood Shortage: Donations Matter to Patients in Need

Donate Blood

There is a significant shortage of blood for hospital patients right now and the American Red Cross has issued an emergency request for people eligible to schedule a blood or platelet donation as soon as possible.

Donations are urgently needed now to fully meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks.

Patients like Kelly Nemeth. Here is her story:

“This is my story about how giving blood can save lives. On August 19, 2011 I gave birth to a 1lb., 14oz. baby girl named Kaedyn. My doctors knew I had a condition called placenta previa before going in for an emergency c-section. What we didn't know is I also had a condition called placenta accreta, so during surgery I ended up losing a lot of blood. The doctors didn't think I would make it. But after five hours of surgery, a hysterectomy, and 54 units of blood, I am a miracle of how giving blood can save lives.”

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a five-day supply of blood on hand. At least a five-day supply is needed to meet the needs of hospital patients and be prepared for any emergencies that might require lots of donated blood products.

PLEASE GIVE NOW Eligible blood donors are urged to schedule a donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Follow the example of Joe Mamanna from Scarsdale, New York, who says the sincerest form of charity is donating blood. A United States Marine Corps veteran who served during the Korean War, Mamanna has been giving blood since the 1970s and recently gave his 101st blood donation in Scarsdale for which he received special recognition from the New York State Assembly.

SAVE TIME WITH RAPIDPASS Blood and platelet donors can save time when they donate by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at www.redcrossblood.org/RapidPass.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), 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.

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.

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