American Red Cross Calls for Emergency Blood Donations

American Red Cross pic

American Red Cross
Image: redcross.org

A student at Linn-Benton Community College iLearn, Cody Gotchall has spent the past several years volunteering with numerous organizations. Over the years, Cody Gotchall has helped such groups as Habitat for Humanity and SAGE Garden. He also has donated blood to the American Red Cross since 2012.

In addition to providing disaster relief and training services, the American Red Cross takes and distributes blood donations. Because of blood shortages, the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for blood donations in early July 2017.

During the two months leading up to July, the American Red Cross was sending platelet and blood donations to hospitals faster than it was receiving donations. There was roughly 61,000 fewer donations than what the organization needed to meet the demand of hospitals. The organization believed this shortage resulted from fewer blood drives. Many drive sponsors had their vacation time during the summer, especially around Independence Day, and this resulted in close to 700 fewer blood drives organized during the week of July 4.

To address this shortage, the American Red Cross called for emergency donations. The organization reminds individuals that donating blood and platelets is a relatively simple process and that most individuals above the age of 17 are eligible to give.

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American Red Cross Blood Donation Eligibility Requirements

American Red Cross pic

American Red Cross
Image: redcrossblood.org

Linn-Benton Community College student Cody Gotchall is pursuing studies in business. Alongside his academic work, Cody Gotchall enjoys giving back to his community. He has been a regular Red Cross blood donor since 2012.

The American Red Cross allows most people in good health to make whole blood donations every 56 days. In most states, donors must be at least 17 years old to be eligible. In some states, 16-year-olds may also donate with parental permission.

Donors must be healthy and feeling well on the day they donate. They must weigh at least 110 pounds on the day of donation, though donors under the age of 18 may need to weigh a little more depending on state law.

Donors who meet this criteria will be evaluated prior to collecting blood. Some factors, such as current medication use or recent vaccinations, may render a prospective donor ineligible on that day. Other factors, such as sexual and travel histories, may also preclude some people in some circumstances. These factors will be discussed with Red Cross staff on the day of donation. To learn more, visit: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements.

American Red Cross Blood Donation Processes

 

Blood Donation Processes pic

Blood Donation Processes
Image: redcrossblood.org

Cody Gotchall enjoys contributing to, and volunteering with, a number of philanthropic and community organizations. For more than four years Cody Gotchall has donated blood to the American Red Cross.

Individuals interested in donating blood to the American Red Cross must first meet a number of eligibility requirements. However, these eligibility requirements, including age, weight, and donation frequency, are just the first series of tests done to ensure the quality of donated blood.

Following eligibility and donor registration, individuals are questioned about their health history and undergo a brief physical examination by a medical professional. American Red Cross representatives typically collect about one pint of blood per donor. These bags are carefully labeled and stored prior to being sent to processing.

Blood samples are recorded in a digital database prior to being separated into transfusable components, such as red cells, platelets, and plasma. Some components, such as plasma, are even further processed. Finally, all components are tested for viability at one of three Red Cross National Testing Laboratories. Each vial is analyzed for blood type and quality through 12 distinct tests.

The American Red Cross Blood Donation Process

American Red Cross

American Red Cross

 

Cody Gotchall resides in Oregon, and is pursuing career opportunities that involve data analytics and mathematics. Currently a student at Linn-Benton Community College, Cody Gotchall regularly engages in volunteer work in his local community. To help people in need, he has been donating blood to the American Red Cross since 2012.

Founded in 1881 by Clara Barton in Washington D.C., the American Red Cross is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world. The organization maintains a large international network of volunteers and partners, known as the global Red Cross Network, to address hardships caused by emergencies. In addition to disaster relief, the Red Cross also provides a variety of international relief services, educational programs, and blood collection services that help millions of patients across the world.

Volunteers that wish to donate blood must first complete basic registration with a staff member before completing a mini physical examination and health history assessment. Once these steps are complete, a technician completes the donation process by cleaning an area on the arm before inserting a sterile needle to draw blood, which takes eight to 10 minutes. Refreshments are provided by the American Red Cross once this process is complete. For additional information on donating blood, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org.