Blood Donors Needed To Build Blood Supply

Pam Fagan is a first-time donor who received blood and now wants to 'pay it forward'.

The country has been responding to the urgent appeal for blood donors recently issued by the American Red Cross, but that support is now diminishing in spite of the fact that the blood supply has not returned to adequate levels.

Fewer people are making appointments to give blood now than were a week ago. The Red Cross reports the blood supply has not grown back to a sufficient level because the majority of the blood that has been donated since the appeal was issued on July 11 has already been delivered to area hospitals.

“We need those who are able to continue to give until we can build the blood supply back up to a safe and adequate level,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer for the Red Cross.

At Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., the Department of Anesthesiology is sponsoring a blood drive later this month and encouraging all of its members to participate. “Our department chose to sponsor this blood drive to give back to the Red Cross donor pool, as well as to visibly acknowledge the incredible need for life-saving blood products,” said Warren S. Sandberg, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Anesthesiology. “We are encouraging our own members, as well as everyone who is able, to step up and donate. The Red Cross is facing a critical shortage of blood products, particularly type O negative, and we want to do our part to meet the need in our region.” The medical center is one of 57 hospitals supplied by Red Cross Blood Services, Tennessee Valley Region in Paducah, Ky.

Pam Fagan spotted a billboard about the need for blood donors put up by Red Cross Blood Services, Southwest Region, Tulsa, Okla. She then gave blood for the first time. Pam reported she has received blood and wanted to give to “pay it forward”.

April Morgan is a school nurse from Arkadelphia, Ark., and heard about the need for blood donors during a CPR class at her local Red Cross chapter. She donated blood after the class. April, a mother of two, gave blood for the first time in high school “because it got you out of class.”

Mother and daughter Jennifer Naylor and Calien Whitney of Little Rock, Ark. answered the call for blood donors after hearing about it on the radio and passing a billboard about the blood appeal. Calien first gave blood when she was a nursing student at St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock. She is now an Army National Guard Combat Medic, as is her husband. Her mom, Jennifer, had not given blood in many years. Both gave blood recently in Little Rock. Calien has decided to return to the Red Cross to donate platelets during an apheresis donation and is encouraging her friends to give blood now.

Red Cross staffers are also supporting the appeal for blood donors, giving at blood drives all over the country. In Washington, D.C., Peter Macias, communications director for Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, said he first gave blood on a dare in the early 80’s. “After doing so, I realized that it’s such an easy way to make a difference and I’ve been doing so ever since,” he said. “In the time that it takes to watch the evening local and national news, you can save more than one person’s life. It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a huge impact in someone’s life.”

Pete Macias is one of many Red Cross staffers answering the call for blood donors.Warren Sandberg is helping organize a blood drive at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The Red Cross provides blood products to nearly 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.  Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Eligible blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visitredcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and make an appointment. To give blood, individuals must be 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and be in generally good health.  Those giving blood are asked to bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when they come to donate.

Local Red Cross Blood Supply Drops to Critically Low Levels – Schedule of blood drives in Clare, Isabella, Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford Counties

Local Red Cross Blood Supply Drops to Critically Low Levels

Schedule of American Red Cross blood drives in Clare, Isabella, Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford Counties

 The American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region is facing a critical blood shortage and today issued an appeal for blood donors.

Many donors are busy or traveling, school is out of session and donations in May and June dropped to the lowest levels the Red Cross has seen during this timeframe in more than a dozen years. Demand for blood remained steady during this same period, which is why the Red Cross needs people—now more than ever—to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All types are needed, but especially O negative, which can be used to treat any patient.

The Red Cross has responded to more than 40 major disasters in more than 30 states over the past three months alone – delivering help and hope to people affected by floods, tornadoes and wildfires. But there’s another, more personal, kind of disaster which can happen to anyone at any time if blood is needed and is not available.

Chuck Warner of Dimondale, MI knows firsthand about the importance of blood donation.  As a high school Chemistry teacher, Warner encouraged his fellow teachers and eligible students to donate blood.  Then, in 1987, his daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and endured numerous platelet transfusions during her 2 1/2 year treatment.

“My daughter wouldn’t have received the treatment she did if it weren’t for the kind people who took time out of their lives to help save hers,” Warner said.

Warner’s daughter has been in remission for more than 11 years and he is now an avid platelet donor as well.  Asked why he continues to donate blood and platelets, Warner doesn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I want to be able to give others the opportunity for a chance at life like some complete strangers did for my daughter.  I don’t know who they are, but without them, my daughter would not be alive today.”

Warner’s story highlights just how important each and every blood donation can be. Because of that, the Red Cross is extending blood drive hours and reaching out to eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to ask them to assist in recruiting blood donors to help meet the needs of patients in communities across the Great Lakes Region and the United States.

The Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to hospitals across the state of Michigan and must have at least 700 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

In an effort to help increase donor turnout, the Red Cross has partnered with Meijer to offer every person who comes out to donate, the chance to win free groceries ($250 value).   In addition, everyone who comes out to donate also has a chance to win $125 in gas from Meijer and a $500 Best Buy gift card.

The follow is a list of blood drives in your area through August 8:

Isabella Mount Pleasant

07/12/11

Isabella County Medical Care Facility 1222 North Rd.

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Mecosta Big Rapids

07/12/11

The Gate 706 Perry Avenue

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Isabella Mount Pleasant

07/13/11

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe 7070 Broadway

10:30 AM – 4:15 PM

Osceola Reed City

07/14/11

Trinity Lutheran Church 19778 US-10

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Isabella Mount Pleasant

07/15/11

Mobile Medical Response 2026 Packard Rd.

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Mecosta Mecosta

07/18/11

New Hope United Methodist Church 7296 9 Mile Road

1:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Isabella Mount Pleasant

07/19/11

Sacred Heart Parish 319 E. Illinois St.

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Mecosta Big Rapids

07/20/11

Mecosta County Medical Center 605 Oak Street

10:30 AM – 3:45 PM

Mecosta Stanwood

07/22/11

Austin Township Hall 14132 Pierce Rd.

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Wexford Manton

07/22/11

Manton United Methodist Church 102 N. Michigan Avenue

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Mecosta Remus

07/26/11

St Michael Parish Center 8944 50th Ave

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Isabella Mount Pleasant

07/27/11

Beal City Knights of Columbus 2765 West Beal City Road

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Clare Harrison

08/02/11

Harrison Moose Lodge 5185 N. Clare Avenue

12:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Wexford Cadillac

08/08/11

St Ann’s Catholic Church 800 W. 13th Street

1:00 PM – 6:45 PM

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

Eligible blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS(1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.

Important Video Message On Critical Blood Shortage

Right now, the Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and needs your help.

Please check out this important video message from Jim Cantore, Meteorologist and Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet Member, as he asks eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible.

Visit us at redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for more information.

Thank you.

National Blood Appeal

  • The American Red Cross has issued an appeal for blood donors of all types due to a critical blood shortage across our nation.
  •  Many donors are busy or traveling, school is out of session and donations have dropped dramatically. In May and June, while demand for blood products remained steady, donations were at the lowest level the Red Cross has seen during this time frame in over a dozen years.
  •  In May and June of this year, blood donations were six percent lower than what the Red Cross typically sees during this time frame.
  •  Because of that, the Red Cross needs blood donors now more than ever. All types are needed, but especially O negative, which can be used to treat any
  •  The Red Cross has responded to more than 40 major disasters in over 30 states over the past three months – delivering help and hope to people affected by floods, tornadoes and wildfires. But there’s another, more personal, kind of disaster which can happen to any of us at any time if we need blood and it’s not
  •  The Red Cross needs you—now more than ever—to roll up your sleeve and give
  •  All types are needed, but especially type O negative. Anyone interested in donating blood should call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit us online at redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment.
  •  Type O-negative blood is the universal blood type. This means type O negative blood can be transfused to anyone who needs blood, regardless of their own blood type. Type O negative blood may be used during emergencies, when there is no time to cross-match a person’s blood type. That’s why it’s especially important that people with type O negative blood donate as frequently as they can.
  •  During a heat wave, the Red Cross may begin to see an even bigger decline in the number of blood donors than in a typical summer. While the heat is unlikely to change the amount of blood needed each day, the challenge is that the weather is too hot to encourage people to leave their air conditioned homes and businesses to donate blood.
  •  American Red Cross Blood Services must recruit enough donors each and every day to meet the blood needs of accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders and others. This amounts to more than 22,000 blood donations each weekday and about 15,000 each weekend.  National Blood Appeal – July 2011 – Talking Points – Page 2 of 2
  •  The Red Cross closely monitors national and local inventory levels to ensure we can provide blood where it’s needed when it’s needed.
  •  Blood is a perishable resource and must be replenished through regular donation. Every 2 seconds, someone in America needs blood.
  •  Each year, the Red Cross collects approximately 6.3 million units of blood, from nearly 4 million volunteer blood donors.
  •  From these donations, the Red Cross distributes around 9.2 million blood products each year, including 6 million red cells, to patients at approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
  •  This work is accomplished through the organization’s national network, comprised of 7 divisions and 36 blood regions.

American Red Cross, Meijer Grocery and Gas Giveaway –Two lucky donors receive Meijer gift cards

The American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region, in partnership with Meijer, has rewarded two lucky individuals – one with a $250 Meijer gift card and another with $125 Meijer gas card – for donating blood at a June Red Cross blood drive.

Bethany Eldred, of Walker, MI, is the June winner of a $250 Meijer Gift Card which can be used for anything in the store, on-line, or at the pump.

“I feel it is my civic duty to donate blood,” said Eldred, a Red Cross blood donor since 2003.

The Red Cross has joined forces with Meijer to give everyone who comes out to donate blood the chance to win free groceries for a month (a $250 value). During the summer months, everyone who attempts to donate blood or platelets at a Red Cross blood drive or donor center a chance to win a $125 Meijer gas card as well.

The winner of the Meijer gas card for the month of June is Carl Jessen, of Fruitport, MI. “I understand the need and the importance of maintaining the blood supply,” said Jessen. “I have family members who have been in need and this is the least I can do to help out.”

“We are thankful to local businesses, like Meijer, who help us in our mission to save lives,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO of the Great Lakes Region. “We would not be able to succeed in our life-saving mission without their generous support.”

This July, everyone who attempts to donate blood or platelets has a chance to win a $250 Meijer gift card, a $125 Meijer gas card and/or a $500 gift card to Best Buy.  During the summer months, blood collections typically decrease because people become busy with summer activities.  However, the need for blood never takes a vacation.  Call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment to donate today.

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visitwww.RedCrossBlood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

Service Dog Performs Double Duty

Linda and Jazzie are staying in a Red Cross shelter in Minot, ND, for the second time in several weeks due to flooding along the Souris River.

Jazzie, a life-support dog, is a hero of the Red Cross shelter in flooded Minot, North Dakota.

Some residents have been forced to stay in shelters twice in the past several weeks when flood waters forced them from their homes. Going through any evacuation is stressful; going through it twice in the span of a few weeks is very difficult. For someone with a medical condition, the stress can be compounded.

Minot resident Linda Spruce depends on the help of Jazzie, her life-support dog, and is grateful to the Red Cross for helping both of them during the current flooding disaster. She first spent 11 days in a Red Cross shelter in early June and had to leave her home again less than two weeks later due to flooding along the Souris River. Spruce and Jazzie have been staying in the shelter this time for more than a week.

“I would have been homeless,” she said. “Many hotels don’t accept animals.” But instead of being out on the streets, Spruce and Jazzie are safe at the Red Cross shelter, away from the flood waters that continue to swamp the small northwest town.

Jazzie has become somewhat of a shelter hero, helping not just her master, but others as well. One evening Linda began to have a seizure and Jazzie came to her aid. “Jazzie pulled me in my wheelchair to the first Red Cross staff member she could find to notify them of my seizure,” Spruce said.

But Jazzie’s heroism doesn’t stop with her owner. Shelter resident “Honey” underwent knee surgery prior to coming to the shelter and almost fell. Jazzie sprang into action, bracing her from falling. The dog led the woman to her cot, pointed to her knee with her nose and barked. Shelter workers discovered one of the stitches in Honey’s knee had come loose.

Because Jazzie provides a life-saving service for her owner, it is important the two remain together. The Red Cross does not accept pets in shelters, except in the case of service animals like Jazzie. Many people have health issues or are just afraid of animals. Red Cross shelters need to accommodate all of them.

Disaster pet shelters are usually handled by local or state governments and animal welfare agencies. Red Cross chapters have lists of pet-friendly hotels, kennels, veterinarians and animal welfare agencies that can take pets during a disaster.

During a disaster, the Red Cross makes it a priority to ensure everyone affected has a safe place to stay, food to eat and other basic necessities. If someone has special needs, the Red Cross is committed to helping them. Depending on the type of disability the person has, Red Cross workers can help them move around, replace their medications, and provide special items like shower stools, commode chairs and bigger cots to make someone with access needs comfortable.

The best way to ensure the safety of your pet is to include them in your disaster planning. More information on what you should do to help ensure your pet’s safety during a disaster is available on our web site. Information is also available on Red Cross courses such as Dog and Cat First Aid, comprehensive guides to keeping your pet healthy and safe.

Since the end of March, the Red Cross has opened more than 270 shelters and provided almost 37,000 overnight stays to help people like Linda, people who have had to flee their homes because of flooding, tornadoes and wildfires. There have been 42 large relief operations in 29 states across the country. More than 13,000 Red Cross workers from all 50 states have deployed to these disaster areas, serving millions of meals and distributing millions of relief items.

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to help people can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit www.redcross.orgor call 1-800-RED-CROSS; people can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.