The non-profit says recent disasters have depleted its blood supplies.
Baltimore, Md (KM) The Red Cross is making an urgent appeal for blood. Spokeswoman Regina Boothe Bratton with the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the Red Cross says there’s a crucial need for platelets, which is a clotting mechanism. “Cancer patients need platelets. Without it, their blood will not clot and they could potentially bleed out,” she says.
But, she says whole blood is still needed, especially O-positive and O-negative blood types. “That’s the universal donor type. In an emergency situation, when an ER doctor doesn’t have time to test the person’s blood type, they go for O,” says Bratton. However, she says, all blood types are welcome.
Bratton says a number of hurricanes and other emergencies across the country have depleted blood supplies. “We’re tapped out,” she says. “With a series of natural disasters that we had to respond to around the country. .Not only the hurricanes which hit Puerto Rico and Texas, but the hurricanes that hit the Carolinas recently, last year.”
And that’s put a strain on blood supplies, she says.
The Red Cross will be offering an incentive to anyone who rolls up their sleeves during the month of April, especially if they’re fans of the “Game of Thrones” TV show. “This time of around, one lucky donor will win the iron throne, the actual iron throne. And it’s a massive structure,” she says.
“All of you ‘Game of Thrones’ geeks like I am, please partner with us for nothing else but to win that iron throne. But, of course, you’re a winner anyway when you partner with the American Red Cross because what you’re donating is saving up to three people’s lives, and that’s significant,” says Bratton.
“Game of Thrones” is in its final season on HBO.
Anyone who wants to donate can call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767), or go on line to RedCrossBlood.org, where you can also find out where blood drives are taking place in your community.
By Kevin McManus