The American Red Cross is responding to this weekend’s devastating tornadoes and part of that effort is supplying blood to hospitals in the affected areas.
In response to hospital requests, the Red Cross has provided approximately 200 additional blood products for patients in the impacted area.
For those in areas unaffected by this tornado outbreak, please schedule an appointment today to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to help ensure blood products are available for patients wherever the need arises.
Prior to the tornado outbreak, the nation was already facing historically low blood supply challenges and more donors are needed to ensure a readily available blood supply. Red Cross blood drives in affected communities may be canceled or experience lower donor turnout in the coming days, further straining blood inventory levels.
Through its national inventory, the Red Cross can distribute blood whenever, wherever it is needed. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.
All blood types are need to ensure a reliable supply for patients.
- Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type.
- Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. It’s the blood type doctors turn to first in an emergency situation when there is no time to match a patient’s blood type.
- Platelets must be transfused within just five days after a donation is made. That’s why there’s a constant — and often critical — need for new and current donors to give to keep up with hospital demand.
Providing 40% of the nation’s blood supply, the American Red Cross must collect enough blood every day to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online on the day of donation from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/rapidpass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor app.
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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.