PACIFIC PALISADES—Hospitals in Pacific Palisades are dealing with blood shortages. The American Red Cross issued a call for more blood donations. Type O blood is the most in-demand blood type as it is the first to deplete during a shortage.
Senior Vice President, Red Cross Blood Services, Cliff Numark informed USA Patch “Whether you’ve never donated or given a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.”
The American Red Cross indicated that former patient Ray Poulin is an example of how blood donations help others. Poulin’s liver and kidney failed which led to a serious blood infection. His need for blood became urgent when his liver hemorrhaged. Poulin was given a 10 percent chance of survival, but after 77 units of blood he was able to recover.
Ray Poulin commented, “There was a lot that went into saving my life, but if the blood wasn’t available when I needed it, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Blood shortages worsen around Independence Day because of fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives. Blood donations dropped lower than expected for the past two months with 61,000 fewer donations than needed. The Red Cross has indicated that the summer months are the most challenging time of the year for blood and platelet donations because of vacations.
Thousands of people responded to the hospitals’ plea in July, but a critical blood shortage remains with less than a five-day blood supply left. Rebuilding a blood supply is impacted due to blood and platelets being distributed faster than donations received.
The American Red Cross is a non-profit organization that relies on volunteers in order to supply 40 percent of the nation’s blood to hospitals.
“It’s crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director of Red Cross Blood Services.
The American Red Cross explained their need to collect 14,000 blood donations every day in order to fulfill the supplying of 2,600 hospitals. To schedule an appointment to donate, use the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).