The critical need for blood donations was discussed by Alana Mauger, Communications Manager for the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region, as once again, supplies are very short. She stressed the need for donors, for whole blood, ‘power reds’ where red cells are removed and the remainder returned to the donor, and platelet donations where only the plasma is taken. She described the Red Cross’s recent findings that three fourths of the population underestimate how often blood transfusions are made and a third don’t realize blood may net be available when needed, how only 3% donates in a given year. She dispelled fears that it is painful, that it takes long – only 8 to 10 minutes, and the myth that you must know your blood type to give. She explained their current campaign, ‘Fill The Missing Types’ removing the As, Bs and Os from their website, as well as from sponsor sites, – to emphasize the need for the these types. She also reminded us that all should give to guarantee the best match for patients who have developed reactions to blood transfusions, the closer the match, ethnic and race, the better the outcome for these patients, she explained that blood stays within the area donated, but for these cases it can be shipped by request. She described who can give and recommended we download the ARC app to facilitate a faster donation, find close donation sites and follow how our blood was used. She also encouraged us to host a blood drive and to volunteer, drivers are needed!
The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Region