As part of an international movement, the American Red Cross is launching the Missing Types campaign today (Monday June 11th) to recruit new blood donors – and those who have not given recently – to ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients. Rich Woodruff from the Utah Red Cross, joined Nicea DeGering and Emily Clark to talk about the campaign.
During the Missing Types campaign, the letters A, B and O – the main blood groups – will disappear from brands, social media pages, signs and websites to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays. When the letters A, B and O vanish from everyday life, the gaps are striking. And when A, B and O blood types are missing from hospital shelves, patient care could be impacted.
A recent survey, conducted on behalf of the Red Cross, revealed a troubling disconnect between the public’s perception of blood donations and the realities of patient transfusion needs. Three-quarters (74 percent) of the public underestimate how frequently blood transfusions occur. Most people perceive blood is needed in the U.S. every 15 minutes or even every hour or two hours when in fact, every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood.
Nearly half of the public (45 percent) know someone who has been helped by a blood transfusion, yet only three percent of the U.S. population donates each year. More than one-third (35 percent) of the public has never considered that blood may not be available when they or a loved one need it. Blood shortages are not uncommon in the United States and can only be prevented when more people roll up a sleeve to give.
Each day, blood and platelets are needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those who are receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.
Donating blood is a simple process and only takes about an hour from start to finish.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Don’t wait until the letters A, B and O go missing from hospital shelves. Join the #MissingType movement today – make an appointment to give blood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/MissingTypes, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.