Red Cross urges blood donations to help trauma patients

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TEMECULA – 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.

The San Diego Blood Bank is hosting several local blood drives in May.

Pat and Oscar’s is hosting a blood drive in partnership with the San Diego Blood Bank Friday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in their parking lot at 29375 Rancho California Road in Temecula. All donors will receive one free breadstick, courtesy of Pat and Oscar’s.

Iglesia Ni Cristo is hosting a blood drive Saturday, May 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in their parking lot at 29385 Rancho California. Road, in Temecula.

Anyone 17 and older, who weighs at least 114 pounds and is in good health may be eligible to donate blood. A good meal and plenty of fluids are recommended before donation. All donors must show picture identification. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment to donate, but walk-ins are welcome.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org or call (800) 469-7322.

The Red Cross is hosting several blood drives in May as well.

The Fallbrook Library is host a blood drive Tuesday, May 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at 124 S. Mission Road in Fallbrook.

Rancho Springs Medical Center, 25500 Medical Drive, is hosting a blood drive Friday, May 17, from noon to 6 p.m., in Murrieta.

Starbucks on Ynez and Rancho California roads is hosting a mobile blood drive Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in their parking lot at 29588 Rancho California Road.

Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to help meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting www.RedCrossBlood.org or calling (800) 733-2767.

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. Restrictions apply; see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at www.RedCrossBlood.org/Together.

In December 2017, Jeff Gosliga was rushed to the hospital following a car accident. To treat his serious injuries, he needed 11 units of blood – about the amount of blood in an average adult’s body.

“I never had reason to think a lot about blood, where it came from or how it arrived at hospitals; my accident changed all of that,” Gosliga said. “It was touch-and-go for a while, and because the blood that I needed was available, I’m here today. I am so grateful to all of the volunteer blood donors who give of themselves so generously. I will never forget them or take blood donation for granted again.”

When every second matters

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 7% of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4% 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.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit www.RedCrossBlood.org or call (800) 733-2767 to make an appointment or for more information. 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, 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at www.RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor app.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit www.redcross.org or www.cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit them on Twitter.

Submitted by San Diego Blood Bank.