Red Cross Making Appeal For More Blood Donors

The local chapter says local supplies are steady and stable, but vulnerable.

Frederick, Md (KM) The Red Cross says more people are needed to roll up their sleeves and give blood. Ashley Henyan, the Communications Director for the National Capital and Chesapeake Region of the Red Cross, says the need is especially urgent for the O blood types. “Type O-Negative blood is especially important because that’s the universal blood type.  And that’s the literally what  emergency room personnel reach for when there’s no time to determine that patient’s blood type,”: she says.

But all blood types are welcome, Henyan says,  because some patients undergoing surgery may need multiple transfusions. “Specifically, cycle cell patients require sometimes hundreds of blood transfusion,” she says. “And the more often you have a blood transfusion, the more often your body is to perhaps reject blood that is not closely matched. So that’s why it’s important not only that all blood types  donate, but that donors from all ethnicities donate as well.”

Right now, Henyan says blood supplies in the region  are  steady and stable, but vulnerable. “So just like the milk in your refrigerator, every 42 days blood goes bad,”: she says. “That’s why you need those regular donors to cycle back in every 56 day when they’re eligible. But you see the gap between the 42 days and the 56 days. That’s why we need new donors to come in and fill that gap.:”

Anyone who wants to give blood should be in good health. The Red Cross also says donors should weigh 110 pounds or more, and in most states, be at least 16 years of age.

“It’s the blood on the shelves that doctors reach for during an emergency,.” Henyan says. “And so that’s why we need everyone that makes their appointment to keep their appointment. And if you’re doing healthy  and  well, definitely keep that appointment and come in and donate.”

To make an appointment to donate blood, go on line to, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

By Kevin McManus