Red Cross makes emergency call for blood donations - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Red Cross makes emergency call for blood donations

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The blood supply is shrinking in hospitals across the country. That's prompting The American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for donors.

Nationwide, donations are down about 10 percent. The Red Cross has 50,000 fewer donations than expected.

Just one pint of blood can save three lives.

"If we don't come out and we don't increase the blood supply these patients in the hospitals are not going to get what they need. And it's so important to keep in mind, they don't get a break from being sick," said Kristin Brown.

Brown is not just a Red Cross employee, she's a survivor. And her job is personal.

In 2008 she was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia. The rare blood disease affects 2 out of a million people.

"I needed about 100 units of blood and platelets between May and October of 2008 just to keep me alive," Brown said.

It turns out, those donations actually saved two lives.

"Ava Marie. She is my miracle. The doctors did not think I'd be able to have children after my bone marrow transplant in October of '08 but she is going to be 3 in September and she wouldn't be here as well," said Brown.

It's something Red Oak Volunteer Firefighter, Ray Brooks knows all too well.

"Without the blood I wouldn't have made it through the surgery, I wouldn't be here now," said Brooks.

He's been through not one, but two liver transplants.

" I was born three months premature and I needed a blood transfusion. That set the stage. Back in the early 70's they didn't know about some diseases like Hepatitis. I contracted Hepatitis C from that. Found out about it, as I grew up into an adult hepatitis C destroyed my liver," said Brooks.

They're the faces that have relied on the Red Cross, and now the Red Cross is relying on you.

"Locally we need about 500 to 600 units of blood each day to supply our local hospitals," said Kaitlyn Brooks with The American Red Cross.

Summer vacations, the 4th of July holiday and a break from school is causing a big shortfall in blood donations. There's also an urgent need for platelets which help your blood clot.

"I know it's a little inconvenience maybe out of your day but it's something we could really use. People like me, you may have a family member who gets in a car wreck, loses a lot of blood, needs a blood transfusion and if they don't have it to give...they don't have it to receive either. Please give the gift of life," said Brooks.

If you want to find a blood drive near you visit this website: http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter


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