Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 29, 2007–The American Red Cross Blood Services national system continues to aid southern California with shipments of blood products into the area from across the United States to help stabilize the local blood supply. Blood drives in southern California have been curtailed due to the wildfire situation, and as a result, donations from residents in the area are limited.
The American Red Cross nationally has provided nearly 2,000 blood products to date to support the efforts of the Southern California Blood Region. Patients suffering from burns often need transfusions of plasma and platelets and the American Red Cross, along with other blood collection agencies, are providing for this need. In addition, shipments of red cells are being sent to the area to help meet the ongoing needs of patients at local hospitals and transfusion centers until the wildfire situation is resolved.
At this time, the American Red Cross is able to meet the requirements of its Southern California Region. However, there may be an increase in demand for blood over the next few weeks as area hospitals which cancelled elective surgeries due to the fires reschedule these procedures. In order to help keep the southern California blood supply at an adequate level, and to ensure your local community blood supply is stable, it is important for eligible donors to make appointments to donate blood over the next several weeks.
Anyone 17 years of age or older, weighing 110 pounds or more and feeling in good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please call the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (800-448-3543) or visit http://www.givelife.org to schedule your appointment. For information about blood donations in Spanish, please visit http://www.cruzrojaamericana.org.
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.