The American Red Cross reports it is in specific need of Type O Negative and Type B Negative blood donations.
Although blood donors of all blood types are continuously needed to maintain a strong and stable blood supply, donors with Type O Negative and B Negative blood are immediately needed, the Red Cross said Friday.
Kara Lusk Dudley, communications manager for the Carolinas blood services region for the Red Cross, said that hospitals are distributing these blood types faster than they are receiving the donations.
To put the need in perspective, a hospital served by the American Red Cross ordered 40 Type O Negative red cell units, which is a pint, for just one patient who was undergoing a hysterectomy the press release said. The blood was available for this patient because of donations given.
According to Dudley, it is difficult to tell how many pints of blood the Red Cross currently has because the Red Cross runs off of a nation-wide inventory system.
“We want to prevent having to cancel surgeries,” Dudley said.
The Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood every day for patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion, said the Red Cross website.
FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham is also feeling the need for immediate donations.
“FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, like many hospitals throughout North Carolina, does periodically experience a shortage of blood products,” said Betty Lynn Warnock, director of the laboratory at Richmond Memorial. “The availability of O negative units is now limited, so our inventory is at a lower level,” she said.
“Unfortunately, this is a common problem this time of year as blood donations tend to decrease during the holiday months,” Warnock said.
Patients receive blood and platelets for many different reasons and whatever the reason, a shortage in the supply means that blood may not be available when it’s needed most.
There are many opportunities to donate blood. From January-March 2013, the sponsor locations to donate are:
• Monday, Jan. 14, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal, 217 Henderson St., Hamlet.
• Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College, Hwy 74 East, Hamlet.
• Wednesday, Jan 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the FirstHealth Center for Health & Richmond Memorial Hospital, 120 Richmond Memorial Dr., Rockingham.
• Monday, Feb. 4, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at Freedom Baptist Church, US Hwy 1 North, Rockingham.
• Monday, Feb. 11, from 2:30 to 7 p.m. at Community Church Rockingham, 193 Mill Road, Rockingham.
• Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at Family Video, 1327 Fayetteville Rd., Rockingham.
• Tuesday, March 12, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Perdue Farms, 416 S. Long Dr., Rockingham.
• Wednesday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College, Hwy 74 East, Hamlet.
• Monday, March 25, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at Roberdel Baptist Church, 1118 Richmond Rd., Rockingham.
• Wednesday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the FirstHealth Center for Health & Richmond Memorial Hospital, 120 Richmond Memorial Dr., Rockingham.
• Wednesday, March 27, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Richmond Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, 769 Hwy 177 South, Hamlet.
Donors must be at least 16 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors who are 16-years-old must have parent’s permission.
For eligibility questions, call the Donor Counselor at 1-866-236-3276. For more information on donating blood call 1-800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.