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Nashville, TN – The American Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges eligible donors to give now to help patients facing trauma and other life-threatening situations.
As a thank-you for helping replenish the blood supply, all donors who come to give blood or platelets now through June 10th will receive a $5.00 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.
Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms, where it can be most critical.
That means just six units of type O blood are available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 are needed every day.
While just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and is also critical in trauma situations.
“All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often.”
The Red Cross collected approximately 11,500 fewer type O blood donations than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. Spring break schedules are known to decrease blood donations, and schools, including high schools and colleges, begin to host fewer blood drives in late spring as the school year ends. Because these drives account for about 20% of blood donations during the school year, less drives can also greatly affect the blood supply.
Donations Needed Now
In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross May 1st through June 10th, 2019, will receive a $5.00 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
Additionally, those who come to give May 24th-28th will receive an exclusive Red Cross-branded T-shirt, while supplies last.
How blood shortages affect hospitals
Blood shortages are not uncommon and can have a direct impact on patient care. Dr. Atif Shafqat, an oncologist and hematologist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, says that hospitals face consistent shortages of blood products year-round, even causing some surgeons to delay elective procedures because of individual shortages.
“When I ask our blood bank director the toughest part of her job, she always tells me it is these shortages and how to deal with them,” he said.
Despite these challenges, hospitals and the Red Cross work to ensure patients have the blood products they need, but that can only happen when a volunteer donor rolls up a sleeve to give. “This is all possible thanks to the volunteers and the blood donors who are giving this generous gift,” said Shafqat.
How to Help
Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1.800.RED CROSS (1.800.733.2767).
Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities May 14th-June 8th
Blanchfield Army Community Hospital
5/21/2019: 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Doug Varner State Farm
5/23/2019: 10:00am – 3:00pm.
Horizon Medical Center
5/31/2019: 10:30am – 3:30pm.
American Red Cross
5/20/2019: 10:30am – 4:30pm.
5/29/2019: 1:00pm – 5:00pm.
6/3/2019: 10:30am – 4:30pm.
Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
5/22/2019: 10:00am – 4:00pm.
2801 Wilma Rudolph Boulevard
Clarksville, TN 37040
5/24/2019: noon – 6:00pm.
6/6/2019: 9:00am – 2:00pm.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.
TopicsAmerican Red Cross, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Blood Drive, Clarksville TN, Dickson Tn, Fort Campbell KY, Governors Square Mall, Horizon Medical Center, Joel Drive, Madison Street, Nashville TN, Pagaent Lane, Red Cross, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Veteran's Plaza, Weatherly Drive, William O. Beach Civic Hall, Wilma Rudolph Boulevard
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