American Red Cross: Critical Blood Shortage Continues

Cleveland, OH - The need for blood is growing faster than the number of people donating it.

Reasons behind the Shortage:

Wednesday started out with seven of the eight blood types below the minimum inventory standard required to meet the needs at local medical facilities served with blood products. Of greatest concern is the less than one-day supply in three types, including O negative, O positive and B negative.

In the Northern Ohio Region 900 pints of blood are needed to meet ongoing needs for 57 local hospitals, and still have a supply on hand for emergencies. Recently the shortfall in donations has been as many as 286 pints in one day, for example.

Every whole blood donation has the potential to save as many as three lives when the components are separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets. However, patients often require many units of a variety of blood products.

For example, a man with type A positive blood was crushed in a serious accident. He received:

  • 6 units, O negative red blood cells, before his blood type was determined
  • 80 units, A positive red cells
  • 34 units, fresh frozen plasma
  • 7 units, platelets
  • 5 units, cryoprecipitate

This patient could require the support of as many as: 134 donors. Altogether, this hospital needed the Red Cross blood bank to send 254 blood products in a six-hour period to support its patients.

A number of recent trauma patients such as this one have used extraordinary amounts of blood and left the local supply at a critically low level.

Blood donations are urgently needed, particularly types O negative and O positive.

All those who come to donate blood or platelets now through September 3, 2007 for a chance to win one of six $500 gas cards or a two-year lease on a 2007 Honda Civic LX compliments of the Northern Ohio Honda Dealers Association.

For information call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE