To help address the current emergency blood shortage, all who come to give blood or platelets with the American Red Cross July 29 through Aug. 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. Currently, 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.
Individuals can schedule an appointment to give now by activating Amazon’s Alexa Red Cross Blood Skill by saying, “Alexa, find a blood drive,” or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
When an emergency arises, it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives. Only through the generosity of blood donors can the Red Cross provide hospitals with lifesaving blood to meet the ongoing and often, unpredictable needs of patients. The need for blood is constant. In the United States every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
Amazon donation is helping save patient lives
With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross hopes to motivate donors to roll up a sleeve and alleviate the blood shortage across the country. Amazon’s partnership with the Red Cross is part of their commitment to “Right Now Needs” to help increase blood donations to ensure patient needs are met.
“We are grateful to Amazon for their support in addressing a ‘Right Now Need’ for blood donations,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Each donation truly matters to those counting on blood products to battle illness and injury. Today, we are asking the public to donate as soon as possible to ensure blood is available on hospital shelves for those in need.”
Meghan’s “right now” needs for blood
At any time, a patient can require an immense quantity of blood. For first-time mom Meghan Jolliffe, the need was immediate after suffering an amniotic fluid embolism. Her heart stopped beating for 14 minutes, and doctors had no time to waste. They needed to perform an emergency cesarean section. During delivery, her organs shut down, and her blood would not clot. Meghan needed multiple medical procedures that spanned a seven-hour period and received close to 100 units of blood from generous donors. Her newborn son, Sullivan, experienced complications after birth and would also need several units of blood. Collectively they received 109 units of blood.
“My family and I are forever grateful for the generosity of Red Cross volunteer blood donors,” said Jolliffe. “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.”
Blood transfusion is one of the most common inpatient hospital procedures 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.
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