The American Red Cross is calling upon all eligible donors to give blood before the end of the summer, in order to make sure a safe and stable blood supply is available over the coming weeks. Due to slow collections, an increasing demand due to the summer travel and holiday season and a projected nationwide shortage this summer, the American Red Cross is urging all eligible donors to give at blood drives and donor centers over the next several weeks as a way of elevating the blood supply to a safe and stable level.
The most critical current need is for donors with Type O blood, as Type O blood makes up over half of the total blood requested by the more than 100 hospitals served in the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Region.
Projections for the summer indicate that collections are running well below normal for the early summer, and the only way to avert a dangerous shortage is by giving blood now. Because O Negative is considered "universal donor" blood, it can be used to treat trauma patients in an emergency when time is of the essence and the patient's blood type is unknown. This makes it an extremely important part of a safe and stable blood supply, and there is always a tremendous demand for this type of blood due to its versatility. O Positive blood is the most common type, and can be transfused into patients with positive blood types. B Negative is a rare blood type, and often, when an emergency need is realized, there is no time for B Negative donors to respond. These factors make it especially important that the American Red Cross has a stable supply of both O Negative and B Negative blood types at all times. Donors are needed each and every day to make sure that everyone who needs blood receives blood.
Under normal circumstances, the ALGC must collected roughly 700 units per day in order to make sure hospital requests are filled, and the best way to avoid a dangerous emergency shortage is to give regularly at American Red Cross blood drives and donor centers. Below are the types the American Red Cross currently needs to ensure that blood stocks are at the proper levels:
O Positive- Critical
O Negative- Critical
B Positive - Critical
B Negative- Critical
AB Negative- Critical
(Critical = 1-2 day supply; URGENT! = Less than one day supply) Over half the blood ordered by hospitals is Type O blood, because O Positive blood can be transfused into patients with any other Rh Positive blood type and O Negative blood can be transfused into all patients. O Negative donors are "universal donors," and O Positive blood is equally important to maintaining an efficient blood inventory. When you give blood, you truly become a lifesaver.
In order to give blood, one must be 17 years old or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Please bring photo identification and make sure to hydrate yourself and eat well in the 48 hours leading up to donation. If you cannot donate, please ask someone to donate in your place. After all, giving blood is the easiest way to become a hero. Remember, when you give blood, you give life. GIVE A LITTLE - BUY A LOT
To learn more about Give a Little - Buy a Lot, or to find a convenient place to donate, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3573) of visit www.redcrossblood.org. Please check our web site in September for the names of the gift crd winners.
American Red Cross blood and platelet donors can win one of two $500 gift cards in August