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How Red Cross Blood Services Helps People Across The U.S.


March is Red Cross Month and people all across the country are sharing their stories about how the American Red Cross has assisted them in their time of need.

Whether help came in the form of a shoulder to lean on after a disaster, getting in touch with a loved one serving in the military or life-saving blood being available when someone needed it, the Red Cross has touched the lives of many people here in the United States, and around the world.

The Red Cross Blood Services program collects and distributes more than 40 percent of the blood supply in the United States. Blood donations help trauma victims, surgical patients, burn victims, patients with blood disorders and many others. Here are a few stories of how the Red Cross Blood Program helped people when they needed it:

Pam’s husband was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and needed plasma Apheresis treatments to aid in his recovery. Pam related how wonderful the Blood Services staff was during the five two-hour procedures her husband needed. “This level of caring is truly a reflection of the Red Cross as an organization and I and the rest of my family are truly grateful for the help given to my husband,” Pam said. “He is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.”

Bill credits blood transfusions with saving his life several years ago when he was randomly attacked on his way to a concert. He suffered severe injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital. “After being given last rites, I went through a lot of blood to get me through the initial period of trauma,” he said. “Without donated blood, I'd be dead. I never forgot that!”

Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to help trauma victims, surgical patients, burn victims, patients with blood disorders and many others.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general 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. Individuals should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when coming to donate.

For more information on giving blood, or to make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the coming days, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.