It’s a question many people don’t think about: Would blood be available if I needed it? The reality is, every two seconds someone does need blood—but its availability is not something to take for granted. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.
The American Red Cross, in partnership with Nexcare Bandages and supermodel Niki Taylor, will mark the sixth annual Nexcare give program in celebration of World Blood Donor Day on June 14. Summer can be a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs, which is one of the reasons World Blood Donor Day is celebrated in June. The day recognizes and thanks everyone who rolls up a sleeve throughout the year, while encouraging others to take action and donate blood this summer.
Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day—patients like supermodel and World Blood Donor Day spokesperson Niki Taylor. In 2001, Taylor was involved in a near-fatal car accident and needed about 100 units of blood to survive.
"I died on the [operating] table twice, and I had a one in 10 chance of survival," said Taylor. "If it weren't for the blood I received, the surgeon wouldn't have been able to give me surgery…after lifesaving surgery." The goal is to inspire people to donate and to raise awareness about the ongoing need for patients like Taylor.
GET IN ON THE ACTION From now, through World Blood Donor Day on June 14, presenting blood and platelet donors at Red Cross blood donation centers and blood drives will receive a limited-edition Nexcare give bandage. Each bandage expresses this year’s program theme, “The Art of Giving,” by surrounding the word “give” with artistic movement styles including: impressionism, abstract art, contemporary art, pop art and street art.
All eligible donors are encouraged to make and keep donation appointments this month to help maintain the summer blood supply and prevent a shortage. Blood and platelet donations often decline during the summer when schools are out of session and regular donors are on vacation. Donors of all blood types are currently needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. 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.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.