06/26/12 — Shortage is critical for blood

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Shortage is critical for blood

By Staff Reports
Published in News on June 26, 2012 1:46 PM

Blood supplies are at emergency levels, and the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross is asking donors to step up and give blood.

There were less than 50,000 blood donations so far this month for the Carolinas Blood Services Region, said Kimberly Berrier, senior donor recruiter for the Red Cross.

Wayne County has four fewer blood drives scheduled for this July than last July, which means 120 units less will be collected.

"This year's mid-week Independence Day holiday has also reduced the number of blood drives," she said. "Many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations.

"I believe the people and businesses of Wayne County will respond to our need, so we have added a blood drive at the Red Cross chapter July 5 from 1:30 to 6 p.m. with a goal of 40 units of blood. This is in addition to the regular blood drive we will have at the chapter July 12."

In response to the appeal for blood, Walmart in Mount Olive will sponsor a drive Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Although a lot of people take vacation around the July 4 holiday, patients don't get a vacation from needing blood products, Mrs. Berrier said.

"The need is constant," she said. "Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons, including accidents and burns, heart surgeries, organ transplants, premature babies when there are complications during childbirth and for those with leukemia, cancer and sickle cell disease."

Mrs. Berrier said the Red Cross collects more than 17,000 units of blood every day for use at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

Blood types that are especially needed are O positive and negative, B negative and A negative.

For information on scheduled blood drives, call the Red Cross at 735-7201 or log onto www.redcrossblood.org.