LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Red Cross) -- Thanks to caring donors the American Red Cross, Greater Ozarks Arkansas Blood Region serves more than 50 hospitals around the clock.
The need for blood is constant and the Red Cross encourages donations year-round. Blood donations tend to decline during the holiday season as donors become busy with vacations, holiday shopping and gatherings with friends and family.
The Red Cross truly appreciates everyone who responds to the call to action. Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. The Red Cross must hold about 600 blood drives each day across the U.S. to meet patient needs.
Nationwide, around 44,000 blood donations are needed each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment.
Winter weather, holiday activities, schools out of session all combine to reduce supplies this time of year. The need for blood never takes a holiday. Thanksgiving thru New Year's. the need is constant but numbers of responding donors often drop off.
Winter weather can keep people from being able to reach blood drives. It is very important that when we experience ice and snow that donors respond as soon as conditions improve and travel is safe. This is the same for any type of severe weather.
Especially in need is O negative, B negative and A negative as well as donors interested in donating platelets. It's the blood on the shelves that helps save lives. It takes 48 hours to test a donated pint for delivery to a hospital patient. Blood must be ready around the clock.
Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS to locate a blood drive, learn more about how your donation makes a difference or schedule your appointment today.
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.
o Platelet donors are also encouraged to give as platelets have a shelf life of five days and are needed by patients such as those undergoing chemotherapy and are in short supply.
To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Arkansas allows 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.