Blood Still Urgently Needed In The Region

But the Red Cross says not enough donors are rolling up their sleeves.

Frederick, Md (KM) The Red Cross is putting the word out about the urgent need for blood. Curt Luthye, the Executive Director of the Red Cross Chapter for Frederick, Montgomery and Howard Counties, says there’s a “concerning shortfall”: when it comes to the region’s blood supplies. “Because blood has a very limited shelf life—blood donations are being sent to hospitals faster then they’re coming in–and so the Red Cross has collected 50,000 fewer blood donations than we actually need,” he says.

“We know that one in seven patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion,” he continues. “And so if we can actually get those blood donations up and full,  we can ensure those living with sickle cell, those with cancer, those who happen to be a victim of an accident that they definitely will have blood products that they need.”

He says blood donations usually drop during the summer as regular donors go on vacation. But also high schools and colleges are closed, and Luthye the Red Cross relied on those students to donate blood.

However, there’s also a problem with people signing up to give. “Actually, we have a good number of people that are signing up through the app or through the website or even calling into 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule an appointment. So we see a little bit of a concerning trend that people are not coming to their actual appointments that they’ve scheduled,” he said.

Luthye was asked what  happens  if the region runs low on blood. “We do try to make sure that we have enough donors in the geographic region to handle the hospitals where we provide blood supplies,”; he responds. “But if that doesn’t happen, that’s the benefit of the National Red Cross and so we can actually call on donors from other geographic areas and make sure that we’re honoring the needs of the the locations here.”

Anyone who wants to give blood can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go on line at, and make an appointment. They can also use the Red Cross Donor App.

Luthye says the greatest need is for O-Negative blood which is considered the universal blood type. There’s also a need for B-Negative because those with the B-Negative blood type can only accept blood transfusions with B-Negative Blood. But Luthye all blood types are welcome.

By Kevin McManus