The American Red Cross Carolina Blood Services Region provides life-saving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.
Betty McRae, Richmond County Red Cross volunteer and Richmond County resident, said we really need the O negative. “Anybody can use that. This is the one that we need most,” she said.
Type O negative blood has dropped to critically low levels. This type is always in high demand - especially in emergency situations.
“If donors already have an appointment to donate blood, it is crucial that they keep their commitment to give blood,” Pam Parks representative of the Richmond County Red Cross said. “If they become ill, we encourage them to ask a friend to donate in their place and then reschedule their appointments when they feel better.”
It’s reported that every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood and one unit of blood can help save the life of up to three individuals.
Beth Ritter, Hamlet resident and volunteer with Richmond County Red Cross branch, says that most people that think that blood from the hospital comes from a tree.
“It has to be donated by people in the first place to even be in the hospital,” Ritter said.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet with weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more depending on their height) and are generally in good healthy may be eligible to give blood.
“It used to be patriotic. People used to give blood all the time. They don’t realize that they, themselves need blood,” Ritter said.
“More than a million new people are being diagnosed with cancer each year,” Parks said. “Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily during their chemotherapy treatment.”
The Red Cross blood donor card or some other form of identification is required.
“Maybe they are working on their own personal problems and can’t put people first like they are used to,” Ritter said about the general public. In some cases, however, people are aware of their physical conditions and ailments and can’t give blood.”
Ritter went on to say that, from her understanding, if you have diabetes you can still give blood if it is under control.
The Red Cross is having a blood drive at First Baptist Church 201 N. Randolph St., Rockingham from 3:30 until 7:30 p.m. Free sunglass holders are given to all donors. Another drive will be at CSX Transportation 361 CSX Drive, Hamlet from 1:30 until 6 p.m.
Free T-shirts are given to donors. Another drive is at Britthaven Nursing Home 769 Hwy 177 South, Hamlet from 2 until 6 p.m., at Richmond Community College Hwy 74 East, Hamlet from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Free gifts are given to all donors.
There will also be a blood drive at Second Baptist Church 518 4th St., Hamlet from 2 until 6 p.m. Free gifts to all donors. Donors are needed desperately at these blood drives according to Ritter and McRae.
For more information or to locate a nearby blood drive, call 1-800 Red Cross or visit redcrossblood.org.
Hollie Nivens can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 19 or by e-mailing at email@example.com.