Opinion

Lifesaving blood is perfect gift

To the editor:

The fall and winter can be a busy time full of fun activities and travel, but the same activities that bring joy can also negatively impact patients in need of lifesaving transfusions.

In fact, right now, the American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage and has issued an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types to give now and avoid delays in medical care for patients. Right now, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

Volunteer blood drive sponsors are also critically needed to host drives in December, January and February to prevent the shortage from continuing throughout the winter. Fewer groups signing up to host blood drives in September and October coupled with the widespread cancellation of scheduled drives as a result of hurricanes Michael and Florence were key factors that contributed to the current shortage. Winter blood drive hosts can also play a key role in helping to end it.

There’s a chance you may know someone who has been helped by a blood transfusion. Blood and platelet donations are often used in the treatment of those being treated for cancer or sickle cell disease, heart surgery and organ transplant recipients, and accident and burn victims

On behalf of the Red Cross, I’m inviting you to roll up a sleeve and give the perfect gift — the gift of life. Your gift could lead to a lifetime of holiday memories for patients in need. To make an appointment to donate and sign up to host a blood drive, I urge you to visit RedCrossBlood.org.

Patricia A. Murtagh
Chief Executive Officer
American Red Cross Maine Region

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