As a result of the recent bad weather across the country, on the heels of the holiday season, the blood supply has drastically decreased in the Southern Blood Services Region. Type O negative and type B negative blood supplies have dropped to emergency levels and help is needed now. Since type O negative blood can be used for any patient when there is not time to determine the patient’s blood type, it is crucial that there is a sufficient supply.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to more than 120 hospitals and must have 1,200 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.
The Red Cross encourages people who are in good health to donate so that hospital patients have the blood or platelets they need to make a full recovery. Blood is needed to help treat a variety of patients including accident victims and individuals undergoing surgery and cancer treatment.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.
For more information or to locate a nearby blood drive, please call (800) GIVE LIFE (448-3543) or visit RedCrossBlood.org.