GREENSBORO, N.C. — The American Red Cross is urging donors to give blood as it faces a nationwide blood shortage.
What You Need to Know
The Red Cross reports a 10% increase in 2021 in demand from hospitals with trauma centers
According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood
Red Cross crews say giving blood can benefit men’s health. Giving blood cuts down on elevated iron levels, which can cause heart disease
The Red Cross says there is a 10% increase in demand for red blood cells from hospitals with trauma centers. That’s more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions. A rise in trauma cases, elective surgeries and organ transplants has put a strain on the national supply of blood.
Tom Flamm has been volunteering with the Red Cross for four years. He noticed a difference in the frequency of blood drives over the course of the pandemic.
“Blood drives like this one here are critical to get people that are not going into the office anymore, they’re coming here,” Flamm said.
Many businesses and workplaces that typically hosted a few blood drives a year were shut down through the pandemic. People who would donate at these drives are now working from home or not in their businesses, leaving less opportunities to give blood.
Flamm was inspired by his sister to volunteer his time with the Red Cross. His main duties are checking in donors and making sure they’re feeling well after donating. Flamm’s favorite part of volunteering is talking with donors.
“We’re just making it as pleasant an experience as possible for the donor so they’re willing to come back,” Flamm said.
Giving one pint of blood can save three lives, according to Flamm. Some donors give Power Red donations, which contain more red blood cells and can help save more lives.
“The Red Cross basically says for every pint you’re saving three lives. You’ve got the red blood cells, you’ve got the plasma, you’ve got the platelets,” Flamm said.
Flamm knows his role is important, but he says the real heroes are the phlebotomists and the donors.
For more information on the Red Cross, click here.