Urgent need for blood, platelet donors

Created: 08/15/2014 12:02 PM WHEC.com

Officials with the American Red Cross say there is an urgent need for donors of all blood types.

In the month of July, the Red Cross saw an increase of nearly eight-percent in the number of donors, resulting in more than 11,800 additional donations beyond what was expected. However, official say the blood is being distributed as quickly as donations are coming in.

"The Red Cross is grateful for those who stepped up to give this lifesaving gift and reminds eligible donors that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve," said Kay E. Schwartz, CEO for the Red Cross New York-Penn Blood Service Region. "As summer draws to a close, you still have the chance to give hope to patients in need."

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time.

Blood donation facts from the American Red Cross Blood Services:

  • The summer season historically sees a decline in blood donations due to many blood donors vacationing and fewer blood drives being sponsored by schools.
  • The need for blood is constant. It’s the blood that is already on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster. 
  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • Approximately 44,000 units of blood are needed each day across the United States.
  • Local blood donors are needed all year round to ensure the blood supply stays strong.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
  • Only 5 percent of the eligible population donates blood.
  • In New York State, individuals who are at least 17 years of age, 16 with parental permission, meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. Identification is required at the time of donation.

There are four easy steps to donating blood:

  • Registration
  • Private medical history review with trained specialists and mini-physical including blood pressure, temperature, pulse and iron level check
  • Blood donation for approximately 7-10 minutes
  • Rest and enjoy refreshments

For Red Cross eligibility guidelines and appointment scheduling, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

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