During the Fourth of July week, fewer blood drives are held across the country and many blood donors are away enjoying vacations. This creates a difficult situation for the blood supply, and the American Red Cross is facing an emergency need for blood donors after a significant shortfall in blood donations during the Independence Day holiday week and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors.
Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available – and less than a two-day supply of type O blood. Blood donations are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. More donations are needed now to replenish the blood supply.
Eligible individuals are urged to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this summer.
Who needs blood
Blood from generous volunteer donors helps families like the Jolliffes. In February 2018, Meghan Jolliffe suffered an amniotic fluid embolism. During childbirth her heart stopped beating for 14 minutes, resulting in the need for an emergency cesarean section. Her organs began to shut down, and her blood would not clot. Meghan received nearly 100 units of blood within a seven-hour period during her procedures. The doctors were able to stop the bleeding and stabilize Meghan’s condition. Over the next several days, Meghan underwent five surgeries, dialysis and more to repair the damage to her body.
Meanwhile, after her son Sullivan was delivered, he went without oxygen for seven minutes. Doctors performed a process called therapeutic hypothermia, or whole-body cooling, to preserve his neurological function, and he also received several units of blood. In all, Meghan and Sullivan received 109 units of blood.
“My family and I are forever grateful for the generosity of Red Cross volunteer blood donors,” said Meghan. “Donating blood is so important. You or a loved one may never need these lifesaving products, but I can assure you that someone, somewhere will.”
Don’t wait – help now:
- Make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
- Let your friends and family know there is a #BloodEmergency and ask them to give now.
- Bring someone to donate with you.
Blood transfusion is the fourth most common inpatient hospital procedure in the U.S., and these blood products can only come from volunteer donors. Yet, only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood. It’s crucial that the Red Cross has a sufficient blood supply on hand to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products