Blood Shortage Critical, Red Cross Seeks Donors
Summer travel and vacations have dropped blood donations to it's lowest point in more than 12 years. The American Red Cross is urging eligible donors to give blood at their local facilities.
Since March 31st of this year the Red Cross has responded to over 40 disasters in 30 different states which has consumed a large portion of their donated blood supply. This combined with the usual drop in donations during the summertime has created a critical shortage of blood available for transfusions.
“This has been an especially busy year for the Red Cross, as we’ve given help and hope to people affected by deadly tornadoes, floods, wildfires and other storms,” said Shaun Gilmore, President, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “But there’s another, more personal, kind of disaster that can happen to any of us at any time if we need blood and it’s not available.”
Donated blood is used as a life-saving treatment for severe blood loss. Each year over 5 million Americans receive blood transfusions after automobile accidents, disasters, cancer, blood disorders and more. That equates to 1 transfusion every 2 seconds.
“When I needed it, the American Red Cross was there with 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments that saved my life in a situation where time was of the essence,” said Brian Boyle, a 25-year old swimmer who was hit by a truck while on his way home from practice. He lost over 60% of his blood and was not expected to survive. “Amazing medical care and volunteer blood donors helped make my recovery possible. By giving just a little bit of their time, blood donors helped give me the chance at a lifetime.”
Donors are required to be more than 17 years of age, over 110 pounds and in good health. If donor's do not meet these requirements they can still help by encouraging others who can donate to give blood.
To find a donation facility, visit www.redcrossblood.org/ or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733 2767).