Friday, July 8, 2005
Local blood donor need emphasized
The American Red Cross is appealing to people to give blood now due to critically low levels in the blood supply. All eligible blood and platelet donors are urged to visit their local blood donor centers immediately to ensure that hospitals will have enough blood for patients who need life-saving transfusions. Current Red Cross inventories for type O and B blood stand at a 12-18-hour supply.
Type O blood is extremely important as it can be given to anyone regardless of their blood type and is extensively used in hospital emergency rooms when there is not time to type a patients blood. Approximately 45 percent of the population has type O blood and this group is needed to donate right away.
With the summer months upon us, we experience serious blood shortages which impact directly on hospitals and the blood supplies they have on hand for critical patient care. It is essential that eligible blood donors step forward and make donations as soon as possible. They are our only source of this precious human resource, said Randy Edwards, chief executive officer of American Red Cross Blood Services Southern Region.
The American Red Cross distributes blood to 140 hospitals in the Southern Region and needs 1,200 blood donors every weekday to help fulfill patients needs in Georgia. Donations always drop during the summer months due to people traveling and schools being out for the summer, typically resulting in a nationwide blood shortage. These shortages create particular problems in the Southern Region because of the states dependency on blood from other states to supplement local donations in order to meet patients needs.
Blood and platelet donors must be age 17 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. Because blood cells replace themselves, people can safely donate blood every 56 days and platelets every two weeks, up to 24 times each year. If all eligible donors gave blood twice a year there would never be shortages. For more information and to find out how to make a donation appointment, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-5433) or visit www.givebloodredcross.org.
Local drives will take place in Fayetteville at Fayetteville First United Methodist Church Sunday, July 10, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. There will be a drive at St. Gabriels Catholic Church in Fayetteville Tuesday, July 12, from 2:30-7:30 p.m.
All blood and platelet drive participants through July 31 are also eligible for the Red Cross Summer Save A Life and Go Far with CITGO sweepstakes grand prize $1,500 gas card. Two gasoline gift cards will be given away - one to a whole blood donor and one to a platelet donor.
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