Red Cross: Need for blood critical
Blood donations across the country decreased more than 10
percent in June, leaving a shortfall of 50,000 fewer pints than expected — and half the readily
available blood products as this time last year, the American Red Cross said.
Summer blood shortages are common due to injuries related to increased travel and outdoor activity. This year, however, the rise in natural disasters and the fall of donors has resulted in a serious situation.
According to Revonda Wood, Red Cross regional donor recruitment representative, a national blood appeal was issued earlier this week.
The impact of the severe storms in the Midwest and middle Atlantic areas may have severely affected the ability to restore the blood inventory to sufficient levels in many locations, Wood said.
Power outages, fallen trees and other storm-related problems have forced the cancellation of numerous blood drives across the country and have prevented donors from reaching blood donation centers.
“The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors — now more than ever — to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible,” Wood said. “We need all blood types, but especially O-positive, O-negative, B-negative and A-negative.”
Thousands of blood donations are needed each day to meet the needs of hospital patients. Blood and platelets are needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies — when there are complications during childbirth — and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
“Every day, the Carolinas Blood Services Region must collect approximately 1,600 pints for patients at more than 100 hospitals and transfusion centers across the region,” said Delisa English, chief executive officer of the regional office. “We need donors to make appointments in the coming days and weeks to help us ensure that all patient blood needs can be met. Each pint of whole blood can help save more than one life.”
Upcoming opportunities to give blood in Watauga Countyin July are Tuesday, July 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rumple Memoral Presbyterian Church (1218 Main St., Blowing Rock), by appointment only (call 828-295-6684), and Tuesday, July 31, at the Watauga Medical Center auditorium (call 828-268-9438.
To become a sponsor or volunteer, contact Revonda Wood, donor recruitment representative, at (336) 413-3286.