Red Cross Puts Out Call for Emergency Blood Donations
The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult donation week during the Independence Day holiday.
Spokesperson Rannita McFall said over 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week.
McFall says donations typically drop during the summer months.
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“As individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities, as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in,” she said. “All blood types are needed– especially Type O.”
McFall says Type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage.
“Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations,” she said. “Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible.”
If you would like to donate blood, there are a number ways to schedule an appointment.
McFall says one easy way it download the Red Cross app.
“To schedule an appointment to donate, you can download our free Red Cross Blood Donor App, or you can visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate,” McFall explained.
The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at several local locations over the coming weeks.
On Friday, the bloodmobile will be at the Franklin Springs City Hall from 10a to 3p.
Another blood drive will take place on Thursday, July 19 at Lavonia First Baptist Church from 2p to 7p, and again on Thursday, July 26 at St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia from 11a to 4p.
Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and double red cells may be donated every 112 days, up to three times per year.
Donors must be at least 17 years of age or 16 with parental consent, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.