“Blood is needed more than you think,” Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “In fact, in the next two seconds, someone in America will need blood.”
Blood needs are constant, Red Cross officials say. Every day, hospital patients across the U.S. need an average of 40,000 units of blood. When calculated to 365 days a year, that number tops 16 million donations—or nearly 30 million blood products—that are transfused to 5 million patients a year.
Patients need blood for treatments related to cancer and other diseases, for organ transplants, and for emergency care related to accidents or trauma. A person with cancer and leukemia may need from two to six units of red cells to endure chemotherapy, as well as six to eight units of platelets daily for two to four weeks. Surgeries related to heart conditions and organ transplants can also be blood intensive, requiring anywhere from two to 20 units each of red cells, platelets or plasma. And depending on the severity of car accident, a person may need from four to 100 units of red blood cells to survive.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t hear someone’s story about how blood helped save their life,” said Whitman. “And those stories are made possible by blood donors who give without any thought of reward other than to help someone in need.”
Today, baby boomers and the WWII generation make up about half of all blood donors through the Red Cross. But with time, many people who once gave may require blood for their own medical care.
“America simply needs more blood donors from younger generations to commit to maintaining America’s blood supply,” said Whitman. “You can be among them, and help change a life.”
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Monday, Aug. 8, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at LifePlex in the Conference Rooms, located at 2855 Miller Drive in Plymouth. Please go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “lifeplex” to schedule your blood donation appointment.
- Thursday, Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at Bourbon Christian School in the gymnasium, located at 1325 N. Main St. in Bourbon.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.