During Trauma Awareness Month in May, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to help ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients with traumatic injuries and other serious medical needs.
According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma accounts for about 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions in the U.S. annually.
"A single car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood," said Christy Peters, external communications manager for the Northern Ohio Red Cross Blood Services. "In trauma situations, when there's no time to check a patient's blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O-negative red blood cells and type AB plasma."
Those types can be transfused into any patient, making donors with these universal blood types an important part of the Red Cross trauma team.
Blood and platelet donors of all types are currently needed. Those who donate blood or platelets by May 14 will have a chance to win one of three $1,000 gift card shopping sprees from GiftCertificates.com.
Donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767.