The American Red Cross has seen an increase in blood donations in recent weeks. However, thousands of donations are needed every day to ensure the blood supply meets patient need through the rest of the summer.
If at least three additional people give at each blood drive through the end of August – above what the Red Cross already expects to collect – it will help ensure an adequate blood supply for patients all summer long.
The Red Cross issued an emergency appeal for blood donors in late June. Since then, nearly 15,000 donations have been given above what was expected, cutting the blood donation deficit by 30 percent.
Donors of all blood types are needed now, but eligible donors with blood type O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative are especially encouraged to give at this time. You can give blood every 56 days, so anyone who gave blood at the start of summer may be eligible to donate again as summer comes to a close.
WHO NEEDS BLOOD “When I was a little girl; my father began to hemorrhage and lost a lot of blood,” Gayle recalled. “The doctors could not stop the bleeding. My dad’s two brothers organized a blood drive at work and got all of their friends and co-workers to donate blood in my dad's name. After many transfusions (I think over 100 pints) the doctors were finally able to stop the bleeding. My dad lived until I was grown. When I was old enough; I signed up to donate blood to help others.”
Jamie was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder after the birth of her first child that required prompt treatment with plasmapheresis. “After over 20 treatments, I’m still standing,” she said. “Since every treatment required ten to twelve individual donations, I literally owe my life to hundreds of people. Before my diagnosis, I didn’t have a full appreciation for the importance of giving blood products, but I certainly do now. Giving blood truly is giving the gift of life.
Other recent examples of patients who received blood products include:
HOW TO GIVE To schedule a donation time, or for more information about giving blood, people can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. 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.