BANGOR – The American Red Cross is issuing an emergency call for blood donors. They desperately need help from the community.
“We’re in a time period of what we call an emergency appeal,” said Sherri Phinney, account manager and donor recruitment, “This is because presently, between the holidays and storm cancellations, we lost in the month of December over 3,000 units of blood.”
There’s been 1,000 cancellations and now they are now desperately looking for ways to replace those units. They are extending hours and reaching out to sponsors.
“Blood has an expiration date,” said Tara Rabideau, transfusion service manager at Eastern Maine Medical Center, “Units of blood are only good for a 42 days maximum. We may have enough one day, but in a few weeks, If people don’t regularly donate, we can easily run out and our shelves will be bare.”
“Keeping these hospital shelves filled is certainly our priority and our mission in saving lives,” said Phinney, “It’s truly huge.”
Blood cannot be replaced or be truly manufactured. Each donation can save up to three lives and donation of red cells can potentially double that amount.
“One donation can be separated into several different components and each of those components can be given to different patients with different needs,” said Rabideau.
Such as burn victims, cancer and surgery patients and those suffering from anemia.
“You know that you’re helping someone out or more than one person, it’s really gratifying,” said Rabideau.
Who would have known, that one person can make a difference.
“And you want to remember to, the very person you are saving could be neighbor, family member or you can ultimately be saving yourself,” said Phinney.
If that’s not enough incentive, Dunkin Donuts is giving gift cards to donors all this month.