The Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage. Low donor turnout during the holidays and blood drive cancellations due to winter weather have led to the blood supply reaching extremely low levels.
Rhonda Cooke, MD, Missouri Baptist Medical Center Laboratory Medical Director, urges those who are eligible to donate now. “Only a fraction of those who are eligible to donate blood actually do, and I appreciate the sacrifice of time to give such a precious gift. There is no substitute for blood, so we need you desperately.”
The Red Cross needs donors of all blood types — particularly type O blood, the blood group hospitals need most — to give blood to help meet daily hospital demands.
Each blood donation can be divided into components, including red blood cells, plasma and platelets, Dr. Cooke says — and each donation has the potential to save three lives.
“Red blood cells are given to bleeding patients and used during surgeries. They are used by patients with sickle cell disease or patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis, who don’t make their own healthy red blood cells. Plasma provides coagulation factors to patients, such as those with liver disease or those on anticoagulants. Platelets help our cancer patients stay out of the hospital and prevent bleeding as they undergo chemotherapy and are also given to help our cardiac surgery patients,” Dr. Cooke says.
“Every part of your donation is critical to care for patients, and all blood types are needed,” she adds. “Please make an appointment to donate today and spread the word of our urgent need for blood.”
Click here to search for a donation location/register to donate.