Editorial: Every second counts
There’s no way to predict when or where an accident will happen. That’s why the American Red Cross needs donors to give blood and platelets during Trauma Awareness Month this May and throughout the year to help ensure that trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured patient arrives.
Major traumas can quickly deplete a hospital’s blood supply. By giving blood, platelets or plasma regularly, donors can help ensure that enough blood is on the shelves for patients when every second matters.
In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma because they can be transfused to patients of any blood type. Less than seven percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about four percent of the population has type AB blood.
Platelets may also be needed to help with clotting in cases of massive bleeding. Because platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, there is a constant — often critical — need to keep up with hospital demand.
Donors have a chance to give blood on Monday, May 20, from 1 to 6:30 p.m., at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road. Appointments may be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins will also be accommodated.
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
In thanks, all those who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross now through June 10 will receive a $5 amazon.com gift card via email. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.