There’s no way to predict when or where an accident will happen.

That’s why the American Red Cross needs donors to give blood during Trauma Awareness Month this May and throughout the year to help ensure trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured patient arrives.

In December 2017, Jeff Gosliga was rushed to the hospital following a car accident. To treat his serious injuries, he needed 11 units of blood – about the amount of blood in an average adult’s body. 

“I never had reason to think a lot about blood, where it came from or how it arrived at hospitals; my accident changed all of that,” said Gosliga. “It was touch-and-go for a while, and because the blood that I needed was available, I’m here today. I am so grateful to all of the volunteer blood donors who give of themselves so generously. I will never forget them or take blood donation for granted again.”

Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to help meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions. Major traumas can quickly deplete a hospital’s blood supply. By giving blood, platelets or plasma regularly, donors can help ensure enough blood is on the shelves for patients when every second matters.

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 because they can be transfused to patients of any blood type. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.

What follows is a list of upcoming blood drives which are being held in the area in the month of May:

• In Wabasso May 8 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Wabasso Public School

• In Belview May 9 from 2-7 p.m. at the Odeon Hall

• In Vesta May 16 from 12-6 p.m., at the community hall

For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or visit redcrossblood.org.

– Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross