There is currently a nationwide blood shortage, the effects of which are also being felt here in the Capital Region.
According to the American Red Cross, there is currently a deficit of available Type O blood in our area. Type O blood plays a critical role in hospitals for patients with cancer and blood disorders, trauma victims, and premature babies, among others. Without enough blood, transfusions have to be delayed, procedures have to be cancelled, and patients’ health may be jeopardized.
It is important to note that all blood is important to hospitals. Your blood is desperately needed, no matter what your type may be. If you are a Type O donor, however, you play an even more significant role in helping hospitals to continue business as usual. Type O blood is universal – any person, no matter what their blood type, can receive it.
If every eligible Type O donor gave blood at least twice a year, there would be no blood shortages. That bears repeating: If every eligible Type O donor gave blood at least twice a year, there would be no blood shortages!
Many donors give blood at annual drives. A single donation is a wonderful gift greatly appreciated by the community and the recipients whose lives you save. And multiple donations go even further, as each donation can help up to three patients.
At St. Peter’s Health Partners, approximately 35 units of red blood cells are transfused each day – that’s an average of 12,600 red cell units per year. In addition, more than 1,700 platelets and 2,100 units of plasma are transfused annually at SPHP.
Fortunately, our community is extremely generous, but statistics show that only five percent of those eligible actually donate; there is a huge untapped donor population.
Please consider donating blood, especially if you are Type O – there is no other source. You can have a profound effect on hospitals’ blood supplies and YOU WILL save lives.
Call the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org to schedule your donation at one of the dozens of blood drives held throughout the Capital Region through the end of this month.