2012-02-09 / Letters

Red Cross Needs Blood Donors

To The Editor:

Every two seconds, someone in our country needs a blood transfusion.

Like the emergency room of a hospital, the American Red Cross needs to be prepared to respond to patient emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Right here in the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, the Red Cross must collect approximately 5,000 blood and platelet donations each week to meet the everyday needs of patients at area hospitals.

Who receives the blood products so generously donated by Red Cross blood donors?

About 18 percent of blood products are transfused to patients undergoing care for cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma. Patients experiencing gastrointestinal blood loss unrelated to cancer receive approximately

15 percent of blood products. Those undergoing orthopedic or urological surgery receive about 14 percent of blood products. Two groups – those undergoing other surgeries and those with anemia other than cancer-related – each receive 13 percent of transfusions. Trauma patients receive approximately 12 percent of blood products, and cardiac care patients, 11 percent.

Each day approximately 44,000 units of blood must be donated to meet such needs experienced by patients in the United States.

For additional information about blood donation or to make a donor appointment, call 1-800- RED- CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.

John B. Nobiletti, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Director

American Red Cross Blood

Services

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