Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and Red Cross Call on Marylanders to Donate Blood
Current Blood Supply Not Adequate to Meet Need
August 11, 2008: Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown teamed up today with the American Red Cross, Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region at a press conference to address the current, urgent need for blood donors. Blood donations have been well below what is considered a safe and adequate supply for several weeks, and, at times, certain blood types have dipped below a half-day supply. Blood cannot be manufactured in a lab and the GC&P Region relies on community blood donors to supply at least 1,000 units a day to meet the needs of patients in local hospitals.
“You can give a neighbor the gift of life and all it takes is an hour of your time,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “Our hospitals, patients and doctors are in dire need of blood donors. As Marylanders, I ask that we all do right by our neighbors and give the most valuable gift we possibly can, the gift of life.”
“Although blood shortages like this are common during the summer months, they are never routine,” says Gary J. Ouellette, Chief Executive Officer for the GC&P Region. “We need the public to understand the increasing urgency of this situation, and we are grateful for the support of Lt. Governor Brown in this effort.
Lives are literally on the line, and it is the responsibility of community blood donors to ensure that we have blood available to treat patients in need.”
The American Red Cross holds approximately 35 blood drives in the Region each day and has 13 conveniently located donor centers between Southern Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia. The Region is relying on an immediate response from all eligible community blood donors and asks that they call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543) to schedule their donation appointment today. One blood donation could save up to three lives.
WHO CAN GIVE BLOOD?
- Be in generally good health;
- Be at least 17 years of age, or, in the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania, 16 years of age with parental consent
- Weigh no less than 110 pounds;
- Have NOT received a tattoo within the past year;
- Have NOT donated whole blood within the past 56 days.
In addition to asking individual members of the community to donate blood, the American Red Cross strongly encourages businesses and community groups to schedule and organize blood drives. Any groups interested in scheduling a drive or obtaining further information is asked to call 1-800-787-9282, ext. 4925.