December 14, 2018

Red Cross faces blood shortage, seeks blood and platelet donors

13 January 2018, 02:40 | Randall Craig

American Red Cross reports blood shortages

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While there is always a need for all blood types, local blood donation centers have highlighted a critical need for certain types, including Type O negative, which can be transfused to nearly anyone, making it a go-to blood type for emergency responders and doctors in urgent trauma care; Type B negative, which can be transfused to B positive and negative and AB positive and negative patients; and Type AB, which has a plasma type that can be transfused to nearly anyone.

James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive from 11 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in the ground-floor conference rooms, 2500 W. Reynolds St., Pontiac. The critical call for donors is being made, in anticipation for more severe weather.

This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.

RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, by visiting from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

That's why the American Red Cross is reaching out for help.

The timing is critical and the need is clear.

In a recent press release, Blood Assurance cited a crucial shortage in Type O positive blood, which is always much-needed, because it's the most common blood type.

"In fact, 38 percent of people in the United States are actually eligible to donate at any given time, so if you can't donate, you're in the majority, and that's part of the reason why we need so many people to donate", he said.

The blood center is hoping for a turnaround in donations this weekend.

Suster, who spent 100 hours volunteering Tuesdays and Thursdays at the American Red Cross blood center in Portland over the summer, was happy to help, especially after seeing the lack of blood drives in Scarborough and the impact just one drive can have for people in need of blood.

Donors with Type B negative or Type AB were still encouraged to donate, she said.

Stanford Blood Center says they are seeking donations for any type of blood.

They are also searching for blood transportation specialists.

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