The Red Cross closely monitors national and local blood supplies to ensure donations are keeping pace with hospital need for blood products in order to meet ongoing and emergency patient care.
“There is a critical need for blood donors now,” said Joyce H. Brendel, chief executive officer for the Carolinas Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “This summer we have had a particularly difficult time recruiting enough blood donors to meet the requirements of our community’s hospitals and the patients they serve.”
In the Carolina region, the Red Cross has seen approximately 13 percent fewer donors than expected. Donors with all blood types are needed, but especially those with type O negative. Red Cross officials say type O negative donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a shortage. That’s because type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type, and is most readily given to patients in emergency and trauma situations.
Every day, more than 39,000 pints of blood are needed for patients in the United States. Blood is used for the treatment of cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients and trauma victims. Each whole blood donation can help save up to three lives.
“We urge people to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now,” said Brendel. “Chances are, someone is counting on you right now for their very life.”