American Red Cross needs blood donations

American Red Cross needs blood donations
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The American Red Cross of Northeast Arkansas is in desperate need of blood donations.

Executive Director Pam Knapp-Carver said they need the public's help to meet their goal.

"During the month of April, we are hoping to collect at least 800 units of blood for Northeast Arkansas," Knapp-Carver said. "With those 800 units, we have the possibility of saving up to 2,400 lives."

Knapp-Carver said this number changes every month.

"Depending on historical information," Knapp-Carver said, "we will have different numbers every month of how many units may be needed in Northeast Arkansas."

Knapp-Carver said they need to have the blood ready to go immediately.

"If we should have a large disaster in Northeast Arkansas where we had multiple injuries then of course our need for blood is going to rise," she said. "And that blood needs to be on the shelf."

Blood donations cannot be used immediately, which is why the supply is necessary.

"We can't wait the three days to process that blood," Knapp-Carver said. "We can't wait to actually use it on someone who needs blood right now. So, our need for blood is constant and we're always trying to keep those shelves stocked. That's why it's so important that everyone gives every 56 days."

Another problem they often face is the shelf life of donated blood.

"The shelf life of blood is about three weeks and for our plasma it's about three days," she said. "That means if it's not used, we have to get new blood and it takes three days to process the blood donations. So, if you give blood today, it's not going to be ready to use for three days."

Knapp-Carver said it's for these reasons they need people to donate every day.

For a listing of blood drive locations and times, click here.

You can also go online to set up an appointment to make a donation and even fill out your paperwork before you go to a donor center.

There is also an American Red Cross app you can download to your cell phone.

This app will allow you to track your donation and see where your blood went.

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