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American Red Cross: Emergency Blood Shortage

July 30, 2019
By

American-Red-Cross-Blood-Drive 2016To help address the current emergency blood shortage, all who come to give blood or platelets with the American Red Cross July 29 through Aug. 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood.

When an emergency arises, it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives. Only through the generosity of blood donors can the Red Cross provide hospitals with lifesaving blood to meet the ongoing and often, unpredictable needs of patients. The need for blood is constant. In the United States every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. In Indiana alone, the Red Cross needs about 450 people to donate each day to support patients at 80 hospitals across the state.

Meghan’s “right now” needs for blood

At any time, a patient can require an immense quantity of blood. For first-time mom Meghan Jolliffe, the need was immediate after suffering an amniotic fluid embolism. Her heart stopped beating for 14 minutes, and doctors had no time to waste. They needed to perform an emergency cesarean section. During delivery, her organs shut down, and her blood would not clot. Meghan needed multiple medical procedures that spanned a seven-hour period and received close to 100 units of blood from generous donors. Her newborn son, Sullivan, experienced complications after birth and would also need several units of blood. Collectively they received 109 units of blood.

“My family and I are forever grateful for the generosity of Red Cross volunteer blood donors,” said Jolliffe. “Donating blood is so important. You or a loved one may never need these lifesaving products, but I can assure you that someone, somewhere will.”

Blood transfusion is one of the most common inpatient hospital procedures in the U.S., and these blood products can only come from volunteer donors. Yet, only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood.

Don’t wait to give

The Red Cross urges individuals across the country to roll up a sleeve today to ensure blood is available for patients across the country. A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive 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.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Marshall County include July31st at St. Isidore Hall at 803 West Bike Street in Bremen from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Another blood mobile will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 901 East Jefferson Street in Plymouth on Thursday, August 8th from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.