Did you know that a pint of blood can save 3 lives? Did you know that someone in the U.S. needs blood every 2 seconds? Did you know that medical professionals collect over 15.7 million blood donations per year, and that less than 10% of the U.S. population donates blood?
Did you know that a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood? That's 12.5 gallons of blood per car accident.
These are just a few of the facts presented by the American Red Cross when they were in Neponset this week for the Martin Summer Blood Drive. This blood drive was the second time the American Red Cross has been at Martin this year, and Martin has a long history of supporting the American Red Cross through blood drives for employees and community members. "We do this twice a year," said Sandy Milnes, USA Senior Human Resources Generalist. " We usually do one in January, and again one in the summer. Our goal for this blood drive was 20 people, and we have more than 30 participating today so we have really made a positive impact," she said.
American Red Cross Biomedical Services plays a critical role in our nation’s health care system. It is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, collecting and processing more than 40 percent of the blood supply and distributing it to some 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. The Red Cross also plays a leading role in protecting the safety of donors and patients and increasing the availability of blood. It has been among the first to help develop and implement testing for infectious diseases and is frequently the single major contributor to clinical trials to improve blood safety. Providing life-saving blood and blood products to patients is a key component of the Red Cross mission to help people in times of emergency and disasters.
"Some guys are scared, but it's really no big deal," says Susan Griffith, Installation Supervisor for Martin USA. "It doesn't hurt, only takes a few minutes and you you never know when you or your loved ones will be in need," she said. The Red Cross is constantly working to increase the availability of blood and blood products. "We operate in a 3 state area of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri," said Kathy Madsen, Blood Collection Manager. "Summer has always been a slow time for blood donations and we are very appreciative for the help," she added.
The Red Cross is constantly working to increase the availability of blood and blood products. This includes educating potential donors about healthy habits that will reduce deferrals such as for low iron, improving the yield from platelet donors and using containers that extend the time that blood can be safely shipped. Increasing diverse blood donor recruitment is critical to the future of our Nation’s blood supply. The Red Cross is implementing initiatives throughout the country to increase the number of blood donors in diverse communities and raise awareness of the need to give blood. The Red Cross also works to find rare blood donors to meet the specialized needs of patients all over the country. Through its 39 Immunohematology Reference Laboratories, offering support to hospitals across the country, and its collaboration with AABB on the American Rare Donor Program, the Red Cross helps ensure that patients will get the blood they need at any time of the day or night.