Red Cross issues urgent call for all types of blood

Published 12:11 am Friday, August 27, 2010

The American Red Cross Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region has issued an urgent call for blood donors.

The Red Cross closely monitors national and local blood supplies to ensure donations are keeping pace with hospital need for blood products in order to meet ongoing and emergency patient care.

“There is a critical need for blood donors now,” said Mark Beddingfield, CEO for the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “This summer we have had a particularly difficult time recruiting enough blood donors to meet the requirements of our community’s hospitals and the patients they serve.”

Meeting this need is particularly challenging now since the extremely high temperatures are keeping donors inside, most schools are not in session to hold blood drives and we are experiencing a high number of donors who are unable to keep their appointments.

Donors with all blood types are needed, but especially those with type O negative.

Red Cross officials say type O negative donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a shortage.

That’s because type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type, and is most readily given to patients in emergency and trauma situations.

Every day, more than 39,000 pints of blood are needed for patients in the United States.

Blood is used for the treatment of cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients, trauma victims and more.

Each whole blood donation can help save up to three lives.

“We urge people to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now,” Beddingfield said.

“Chances are, someone is counting on you right now for their very life.”

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit for more information.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.