Entries in American Red Cross (3)


Donated Blood Supply Drops to Dangerous Levels

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The American Red Cross today reported dangerously low levels of blood and platelet supplies, with 50,000 fewer blood donations than expected for the month of June. The Red Cross calls upon all those who are eligible to give blood to visit Red Cross or other collection centers to donate.

"Donations are down more than 10 percent across the country," Stephanie Millian, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, told ABC News. "We have almost half the amount of available blood on the shelves compared to last year."

Blood donations usually drop in the summer months, and the early heat wave, along with summer vacations, likely contributed to the severely limited supply.

The Red Cross hasn’t made a push for more donated blood since last summer when supply was also low.

All types of blood are welcome, but O negative is particularly needed. It is the universal donor blood type, and the type doctors turn to during  emergencies, because it can be transfused to anyone in need. Blood types O positive, B negative and A negative are in particularly high demand, too, said the Red Cross.

"We need 38,000 units of blood every day to meet the needs of patients across the country," said Millian.

She said blood is needed across the country, but recent severe weather and flooding in the southern part of the country has put it even more in need.

To find blood donation centers in your area, call 800-RedCross or visit

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Red Cross Makes Urgent Plea for Blood Donors

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- This winter has brought especially brutal weather across the country, and according to the American Red Cross, the nationwide blood supply is at its lowest January levels in the last 10 years.  The agency is trying to get the word out that blood is urgently needed.

"When severe weather disrupts [the balance between supply and demand], the Red Cross puts out a call to potential blood donors across the country to give blood as soon as possible and help make up the deficit," Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer for the American Red Cross, said in a press release.

The Red Cross says someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds in the U.S. because of injuries, surgery and treatments for diseases like cancer and sickle cell anemia.  The organization says it needs all blood types, especially type O, and encourages everyone at least 17 years old in overall good health to see if they are eligible to donate.

Blood and blood components, like platelets, are extremely perishable and need to be replenished constantly.

"Platelets have a shelf life of only five days, and regular blood has a shelf life of six weeks," said Dr. Michael Sacher, director of the Hoxworth Blood Center at the University of Cincinnati.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Severe Weather Leads to Record-Low January Blood Supply

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto | American Red Cross(WASHINGTON) -- The American Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors to replenish its blood supply after the cancellation of more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations due to the severe winter weather hitting the eastern half of the United States.  The Red Cross says it has not seen such a dramatic drop in its supply in more than a decade.

"Maintaining sufficient blood to meet patient needs is a delicate balance between supply and demand," said Richard Benjamin, American Red Cross' chief medical officer.  "When severe weather disrupts that balance, the Red Cross puts out a call to potential blood donors across the country to give blood as soon as possible and make up the deficit."

The American Red Cross asks that all eligible donors make an appointment to give blood or platelets by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting the Red Cross website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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