Blood donations were down more than ten percent in June, creating a deficit of more than 50,000 pints of blood. The American Red Cross is urging individuals to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets as soon as possible.
While we may never know when the need for blood will arise, the fact remains that every two seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. The Red Cross depends on the support of generous volunteer donors to meet the needs of accident victims, transplant recipients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders and others who may requires lifesaving blood products.
Saving a Mother
William nearly lost his wife from severe hemorrhaging after she had given birth to their daughter. “After over 30 units of blood and three separate emergency surgeries she pulled through even after the doctor told me she did not expect her to survive,” wrote William.
“Today I still have my loving wife and a beautiful six-year-old little girl who more importantly has a great mother … If it was not for the Red Cross showing up with the extra blood she needed she would not be with us today. Since then I have organized a blood drive every year and donate as many times as I can.”
A Newborn in Need
“Back in about 1979 I was working for two pediatricians. I got a call from the Red Cross at work one morning stating that they needed me to come and donate immediately,” wrote Donna. “So I cleared it with the doctor in the office and ran over to the Red Cross Blood Services Center about two blocks away. I donated and was back in the office about an hour.
At lunch time the doctor who had been at the hospital all morning came to the office and told us that they had received enough A negative blood to do a total body transfusion on a newborn. Since I am A negative I mentioned that I had been to the Red Cross that morning and donated a unit. About 6 weeks later the doctor called me into an exam room and introduced me to the very healthy and normal baby who had been transfused with A negative blood. What a privilege! I have donated many times since and will continue to donate but holding that baby is a memory I will always carry.”
Make an Appointment to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go online to redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some 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.
Read more about the eligibility requirements.