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Thu, Oct. 17

Red Cross seeks donations to benefit trauma patients

The American Red Cross is urging eligible blood donors to celebrate May by donating blood or platelets to ensure the availability of lifesaving blood products to those in need, particularly trauma patients.

With May designated as Trauma Awareness Month, the American Red Cross is seeking to educate people about the need for an adequate blood supply. Every year, trauma events lead to some 41 million emergency hospital visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions across the United States, according to the National Trauma Institute. One car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood, according to a Red Cross news release.

The Red Cross provides blood to approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide.

The most common blood types required for trauma are type O negative and type AB plasma as they can be given to patients of any blood type. As these are the most limited blood types – less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative and only about 4 percent have AB – donors with these types are encouraged to give, Red Cross officials said.

“It’s the blood products on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director for the American Red Cross Blood Services. “When seconds matter, having a readily available blood supply is critical to trauma patient care.”

Donors of all blood types are currently needed. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by visiting the Red Cross website and information is provided about donor requirements, including the need for two forms of identification to make a donation. The website is redcrossblood.org and the phone number to call is 800-REDCROSS 800-773-2767.

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