Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives – especially in emergency situations. Right now, the American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and strongly encourages eligible blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve as soon as possible.
Since the beginning of December, winter storms have forced the cancellation of more than 350 Red Cross blood drives in 27 states, resulting in more than 13,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.
A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO GIVE
All blood types are critically needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients – especially O negative blood. Type O negative donors are an important part of the Red Cross Trauma Team. Because it is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type, type O negative blood is what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.
“There are many ways that each of us can give, but there are not that many ways that we can give something of ourselves to save a life,” said Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills, Emergency Department physician at UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “Donating blood, if you are O negative, is really a beautiful way to do that.”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. As National Blood Donor Month comes to an end, it is the perfect time to resolve to help save lives by giving blood or platelets.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO DONATE Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or to receive more information.
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.
Donors can use RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or laptop. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass to get started.