Blood donations are desperately needed – Daily Journal

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The country’s blood supply has reached historically low levels – levels so low they could cause hospitals to delay patient care, according to donation centers.

The American Red Cross, which provides about 40% of the United States’ blood supply, needs blood donation – now. The drop in donations comes at a time of year when donations typically fall due to school vacations, holiday gatherings and winter weather, according to a press release from the American Red Cross.

But without a change in trend, hospitals could be forced to suspend essential blood and platelet transfusions for patients.

“We really need blood right now,” said Hyacinth Rucker, spokesperson for the American Red Cross.

Blood centers across the United States have reported that they have less than a day of blood supply, and donations are needed to avoid having to postpone life-saving treatments. Some hospitals have already been forced to change treatment for some patients and cancel surgeries for others, said the American Red Cross, American Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies. in a joint press release earlier this month.

Blood has a short shelf life, which requires constant renewal of the blood supply. It can take up to three days for the blood to be tested, processed and made available to patients. More than 16 million units of blood and blood products are transfused each year, with more than 45,000 units needed per day, the joint press release said.

“(Donations are) essential to maintaining the stability of the country’s blood supply, which ensures that life-saving medical treatment is available to patients,” the organizations said in the press release.

Closer to home, at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis, the blood supply is tight, but it is adequate and meets the needs of the hospital’s surgical program starting Monday afternoon. Hospital staff are monitoring the situation as part of a collaboration between surgical departments and blood supply teams, said Joe Stuteville, a Franciscan spokesperson. The need for donations remains high, however, he said.

Healthy people who could be potential donors are encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood. If there is no immediate opening to donate, donors are encouraged to make an appointment in the days and weeks to come to help the Red Cross replenish and maintain an adequate blood supply. , indicates the press release.

Until Sunday, donors will receive an exclusive Red Cross long-sleeved t-shirt while supplies last, according to the Red Cross. Plus, anyone who donates blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a Super Bowl LVI Getaway on February 13 in Los Angeles. For more information about the contest, visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl.

The Red Cross also automatically enters January donors in a contest to win a home theater set and a $ 500 electronic gift card, the release said.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-733-2767, online at RedCrossBlood.org or through the Red Cross Blood Donor app, according to the press release.

To donate, bring a blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other pieces of identification required for registration. Those who are at least 17 years old in most states – or 16 with parental consent where the law allows – weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors aged 18 and under will also need to meet certain height and weight requirements, the press release said.

In addition, face masks are mandatory for donors, regardless of their vaccination status, according to the press release.

“It takes less than an hour to donate blood, which could save up to three lives. It’s a gift. You can’t buy that, ”Rucker said.

Those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized in the United States, including Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer, can donate blood and platelets as long as they are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of donation. according to the joint press release from the AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross also examines all donated blood, platelets and plasma from African American donors self-identified for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide donors with additional health information and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood groups more quickly to help sickle cell patients who need trait-negative blood, the press release said.


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