Every two seconds someone in this country needs blood. The American Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the blood supply in the United States and needs to collect as many as 17,000 blood donations every day to meet the needs of the nation’s hospital patients.
The Red Cross Nursing Network is helping meet that need with a new public education program, Protecting Life, Promoting Health: Nurses/Student Nurses for Blood Donations. Nurses and student nurses are assisting Red Cross Biomedical Services recruit new blood donors and increase the number of times people give blood.
“Red Cross nursing is proud to help save lives by boosting blood donations,” said Sharon Stanley, chief nurse for the Red Cross. “There is so much enthusiasm for the Protecting Life, Promoting Health program. Members of the National Nursing Committee and our State Nurse Liaison network are working hard towards the day when the program is fully implemented in July of 2013.”
The new program was successfully launched in Peoria, Illinois and expanded to Wisconsin, South Carolina and Maryland. Planning is occurring in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Georgia. In Wisconsin, nursing students visited a variety of groups to educate members about the need for blood donors. After a presentation at a healthcare workplace, the company’s blood drive had to be extended to accommodate all those who wanted to give blood. The student nurses also gave the presentation to 79 members of a university campus club and 64 of those present donated blood. In addition, the students reported that they plan to be regular blood donors and volunteer for the Red Cross.
“The program has been successful in increasing blood donations with the ongoing cooperative effort between student nurse presenters and our Biomedical Services donor recruitment staff,” Stanley said. “The Red Cross needs to collect enough blood every day to help accident victims, cancer patients, those having surgery, children with blood disorders and so many others. Red Cross nurses are helping educate people in their communities about the importance of being a blood donor.”
BECOME A RED CROSS NURSE During National Nurses Week, the Red Cross salutes the more than 15,000 nurses and student nurses who serve the organization today by volunteering to help others. If you are an RN or LPN/ LVN consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Student nurses are also welcome. Contact your local Red Cross to learn about volunteer openings in your community.