Donations especially needed prior to Memorial Day weekend and Summer season.
May is Trauma Awareness Month and the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood or platelets to help ensure lifesaving blood products are available for trauma patients and others with serious medical needs.
Each year, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions in the U.S., according to the National Trauma Institute. A single car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood.
Dennis Weidner knows how critical blood products are in trauma situations. In 1996, part of his left leg was amputated following a farming accident. “Through the surgeries, I received 13 units of blood,” he said. Weidner now gives blood as often as he can.
The Red Cross provides blood to approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide, including about 100 throughout the Carolinas Blood Services Region.
“It’s the blood products on the shelves that help save lives in an emergency,” said Ryan Corcoran, director of donor recruitment for the Carolinas and South Carolina Blood Services Regions. “When seconds matter, having a readily available blood supply is critical to trauma patient care.”
When there is not time to determine a patient’s blood type, such as in trauma situations, type O negative blood and type AB plasma are what emergency personnel reach for because they can be given to patients with any blood type. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood. Donors with these blood types are an important part of the trauma team and encouraged to donate as often as they are eligible.
Donors of all blood types are needed this May. Every day, the Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Donated blood helped save Diana Heredia’s life following a car accident. Suffering from four broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a punctured lung, Heredia received about five units of blood. “I was in pretty bad shape – hospitalized for about 28 days,” she said. “Ever since I’ve tried to recruit blood donors, have blood drives and give blood as much as possible.”
Donations in Forsyth County can be made Monday-Friday and Sundays at the American Red Cross Winston-Salem Blood Donation Center located at 650 Coliseum Drive. The schedule is: Monday, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Thursday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition to donating at the Donation Center, there are blood drives scheduled in Kernersville on May 22nd from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Main Street United Methodist Church, 306 South Main St. and in Winston Salem on May 27th from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Novant Health Forsyth Medical located at 3333 Silas Creek Parkway and again on May 29th from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Trinity Moravian Church located at 220 E. Sprague St.
Important information about donating blood or platelets:
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required when checking in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.