The American Red Cross has joined forces with 9/11 Day, by starting a campaign encouraging people to donate blood, as a way to commemorate the September 11 attacks. There will be several blood drives hosted across the U.S states, for those wishing to show their support.
“Giving the gift of life to someone else is a way to continue the healing process in the face of tragic circumstances Americans couldn’t imagine before that day”, explained Donna M. Morrissey, director of national partnerships.
Those who are keen to make a difference can either make blood or platelet donations or become involved actively as Red Cross volunteers.
Platelet donations are worth around 12-18 blood donations, because they yield 2-3 therapeutic doses. When it comes to blood donations, 4-6 are used for a therapeutic dose. Platelet donations are vital especially for those receiving chemotherapy or recovering from organ transplants, because their immune system is significantly weakened.
All donors are invited to participate because hospitals need a sufficient supply for their patients, especially at this time of the year, when people are busier than usual due to back-to-school activities. In particular, individuals with types AB, A negative, B negative and O negative are sought.
Type 0 negative individuals are universal donors, whose blood can be transfused to any other patient, regardless of blood type. Type 0 blood is often used when treating those who have suffered traumatic injuries caused by accidents, violence etc. Such trauma patients must be given medical assistance without delay, which is why there is always high demand for this blood type.
Type B negative and A negative donors are also extremely important, because their blood can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.
In order to be eligible as a blood donor, individuals should be in good health, be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent, depending on state law), and weigh at least 110 pounds (with additional weight requirements for high school donors or for those 18-years-old or younger).
Those seeking further information or wishing to make an appointment to donate blood should call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/ or download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App.
9/11 Day was initiated in 2002, as an annual remembrance day, when people get involved in charitable actions, to honor the heroes and victims of the 9/11 attacks. As more people have joined the cause by volunteering their time and efforts, this day became the most important occasion of the year for taking part in volunteer work within the U.S.
In fact, in 2009 the U.S. Congress declared it a “National Day of Service and Remembrance” and ever since its commencement, it has motivated tens of millions of Americans per year to take part in these humanitarian efforts.
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