June 14 marks the annual World Blood Donor Day.
The American Red Cross has launched the Missing Types campaign, an international effort to encourage new blood donors, as well as donors who have not given in years, to give blood and to help ensure lifesaving blood products are available for patients in need.
As part of the campaign, the letters A, B, and O — letters used to identify blood types — are disappearing across the country and around the world from corporate logos, favorite brands and frequently visited websites. Many may not realize just how important these three letters can be until they are gone.
“Everyday thousands of patients across the United States rely on generous blood donors for critical blood transfusions,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “However, we have seen a troubling decline in the number of new blood donors. We urge the public to roll up a sleeve and fill the missing types before these lifesaving letters go missing from hospital shelves.”
In fact, for the past four years, new Red Cross donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. The blood donor base is shrinking.
This is not just a Red Cross trend, but a challenge blood collection organizations face across the country and around the world —which is why many are rallying behind this campaign.
Missing Types highlights just how important A’s, B’s, and O’s are.
The #MissingType movement — make an appointment to give blood by visiting redcrossblood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-REDCROSS, 800-733-2767. All blood types are needed.
Survey shows public misconceptions about blood needs
A recent survey, conducted on behalf of the Red Cross, revealed a troubling disconnect between the public’s perception of blood donations and the realities of patient transfusion needs.
Three-quarters (74 percent) of the public underestimate how frequently blood transfusions occur. Most people perceive blood is needed in the U.S. every 15 minutes or even every hour or two hours when in fact, every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood.
Nearly half of the public (45 percent) know someone who has been helped by a blood transfusion. Only 3 percent of the U.S. population donates each year.
More than one-third (35 percent) of the public has never considered that blood may not be available when they or a loved one need it. Blood shortages are not uncommon in the United States and can only be prevented when more people roll up a sleeve to give.
More than half (53 percent) of the public believe they need to know their blood type to donate. Potential blood donors do not need to know their blood type before giving blood. After individuals give blood, the Red Cross provides each donor their blood type. Join the movement and find out your blood type this summer.
Red Cross launches campaign to urge new blood donors —-