Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.
Couple that with the fact that just three percent of Americans donate blood, according to the American Red Cross, and you’ve got the potential for a real crisis.
A new survey, conducted on behalf of the Red Cross, illustrates the depth of the problem. It found that roughly three-quarters of Americans underestimate how frequently blood transfusions occur, while more than one-third have never considered that blood may not be available when they or a loved one need it. More than half of the public believe that they need to know their blood type to give blood — which simply isn’t true.
To combat these misperceptions and bring attention to this national healthcare issue, the American Red Cross recently launched its “Missing Types” campaign.
Imagine if the iconic Hollywood sign had no Os or the letters A, B and O – the main blood groups – disappeared from fixtures of everyday life. People would notice. These missing types illustrate the missing blood donors needed to sustain the blood supply this summer and year-round. As part of the campaign, companies and people are dropping the letters A, B and O from their logos and social media messages.
And the need is great. Blood shortages are not uncommon, and new Red Cross donors have been declining by about 80,000 for each of the past four years.
Every day, hospital patients are counting on volunteer blood donors to help save and sustain their lives. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.
Donating is a simple process and only takes about an hour from start to finish. New donors, regular donors, as well as those who haven’t given blood in a while can all do their important part to help fill in the missing types and ensure blood is available for patients in need.
Rackspace is proud to support this 138-year-old nonprofit dedicated to providing blood and blood products when and where they are needed most. The infrastructure of the Red Cross’s website, and its online scheduling capabilities, are powered by Rackspace — critical parts of the organization’s ability to reach potential donors and help volunteers host blood drives.
If you’d like to become a donor, visit Missing Types, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment to give.
Since the Red Cross launched its Missing Types campaign last week, thousands of people have answered the call to donate blood. But more donors are needed to help prevent a summer blood shortage.