Red Cross issues urgent call for blood, platelet donors

Holiday season good time to roll up sleeves

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients", says Kelly Isenor, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Red Cross Blood Services Region. More than 150 blood drives have already been cancelled this year causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. Then if you want to consider the months of November and December leading up to January we saw 28,000 fewer blood donations.

They're in need of donations of all blood types, but one type in particular according to Busta, "We especially need O- but all blood types are needed". The Red Cross' Danvers facility on Rosewood Drive is open every day for the rest of the month.

The RED25 program is aimed at uniting workplaces, community groups, schools and universities across the country to save lives through blood donations. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to help save their lives. RapidPass can now be completed on mobile devices and through the Blood Donor App. "Low blood collections over the holiday season, combined with the cold weather impacting donor turnout, have put our local inventory at risk of reaching a critically-low level". Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) may be eligible to donate, although there are height and weight restrictions for people 16 to 18 years old.

An announcement from the Red Cross says that while local hospitals are the first priority, the organization also supplies blood products wherever they are needed most, thereby allowing donors throughout the U.S.to contribute to the national blood supply as well as helping patients locally and in storm-ravaged areas. By giving platelets regularly, donors can help patients kick cancer and recover from other life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Holiday season good time to roll up sleeves

The agency also needs type O negative blood, which is a universal blood type that anyone can receive.

"We encourage everyone who can safely come out and donate to do so", said Debbie Bonzak, executive director for LifeShare Community Blood Services in the release.

Type B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients.

"It's an important blood type for emergency situations", Lewis said.


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