As a result of this week's storms numerous blood drives were cancelled in the interest of safety and more than 800 donations have been lost. Each blood donation can impact the lives of as many as three patients in an area hospital. The American Red Cross would like to remind everyone of the constant need for blood and encourages donors to respond now.
An average day requires the collection of more than 500 units to meet expected needs. Several days of severe weather has impacted available supplies. It can take up to 72 hours to test and process a donated unit for delivery to a hospital. Keeping an adequate supply on hand at all times is critical to patients in need.
"We often think of traumatic injury for blood transfusions but much of the blood collected is used for heart surgeries, cancer and leukemia treatments and many other medical procedures depend on the availability of blood and platelets," said Erschelle Newsome, Chief Executive Officer for the Greater Ozarks Arkansas Region.
The American Red Cross relies on the generosity of volunteer donors. To donate blood you must in general good health, weigh 110 pounds or more, and be at least 17 years old. If you are currently eligible to donate or would be a first time donor, call 1-800-Give-Life or visit a fixed donor site today.
Donor centers and mobile operations are returning to full schedules as quickly as conditions permit. The American Red Cross has donor centers located in Little Rock, No Little Rock, Searcy, Russellville, Pine Bluff, Tontitown, Jonesboro, Mountain Home and Springfield, Mo. The Red Cross also has numerous blood mobiles that travel throughout the area daily.
For more information on blood drives in your community or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit BloodIsNeeded.Org for the latest locations.
Every two seconds someone needs blood. Change a life, starting with your own, by donating blood today.