It’s asking residents to donate blood or platelets.
Frederick, Md (KM). There’s an urgent need for blood and platelet donations in the region, according to the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “If we do not shore up our stockpile of blood for the Holiday season, elective surgeries may be canceled. Other medical procedures, chemotherapy treatments may have to be postponed. It’s getting that dire,” says spokeswoman Regina Boothe Bratton.
“We normally like to keep a five-day supply of blood on the shelves. We don’t have that. We maybe have a two-day supply of blood,” says Bratton, who says blood is perishable. “The shelf life is about 56 days. We do not have enough to get through the holiday season right now, and that’s pretty scary.”
She says it’s more than just regular donors who are too busy with holiday activities. . “And with everything that’s gone on with the hurricanes, Michael, Florence, the wildfires, the trauma situations; we’ve had some unfortunate shooting incidents. We are having a hard time shoring up our supplies and we need folks to come out and donate,” says Bratton.
The Red Cross is urging residents to roll up their sleeves and donate blood or platelets. Any one who wants to give should be at least 17-years of age in Maryland, but 16-year-olds can give with parental consent. They should also be in relatively good health.
To make an appointment, donors can call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or go on line to RedCrossBlood.org.
Bratton says the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the Red Cross provides blood to 53 hospitals in the region, as well as the National Blood Bank which distributes blood and blood supplies around the country and US territories.
By Kevin McManus