Five Lines Of Service: Bio-Medical Services

By Shannon Randol, intern contributor, American Red Cross


The American Red Cross is the only national system for moving blood anywhere in the world. We supply 40 percent of the nations blood supply annually and have approximately 3.3 million volunteer blood donors who roll up their sleeves each year.

“The most stunning statement about bio-medical services is every 2-seconds a person is in need of blood,” said Jan Hale.

In the summer months, blood donations reduce to a sluggish pace, because many donors are traveling and vacationing, taking advantage of the summer sun. And a majority of potential blood donors say they’ve never donated blood because they’ve never been asked.


  • About 2,700 hospitals across the U.S. are provided blood from the American Red Cross
  • More than 50,000 blood drive sponsors each year host more than 200,000 blood drives annually.
  • Typically people don’t know their blood type, donating can answer that question.
  • One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
  • Only 9 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type.
  • Only 3 percent of people in the U.S. have AB-positive blood type.

Statistics are helpful, but what does it all mean?

The hospital room is cold, and the machines hooked to 3-year-old Reese won’t stop making noises. She has been diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a life threatening disease that causes bone and joint pain.


Her immune system is weak and the constant poking and pricking has long become evasive, now it’s just a way of life. After numerous blood transfusions, infections and long nights spent in the hospital, her fight has just begun.

With many blood transfusions in Reese’s and future patients’ fate, the importance of becoming a donor couldn’t be any more dire. There are many options to becoming a donor, hosting a drive or volunteering with the bio-medical services in the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross is the leader in research and testing to protect the safety of the blood supply, and among the first to develop and implement testing for infectious diseases including, HIV, hepatitis, West Nile and the agent of Chagas disease.

Donating blood is giving the gift of life to another. There are numerous options available to help save a life, don’t wait another day to find out how YOU can save a life.

The free Blood Donor App – available in Android and Apple app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 – not only makes appointment scheduling easy, but donors can also access their digital donor card and be notified when their donation is distributed to a hospital. You can also visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

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