Blood Shortage Critical in Region 8

June 8, 2007 - Posted at 9:12 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- The average blood transfusion uses about 3.5 pints of blood and an accident victim can require up to 20 pints.  But it takes around three days to process one unit of blood...making it crucial that it's on hand before it's needed.  And right now, the American Red Cross says there is an urgent need for blood in Region 8 with a critical shortage of type "O" and "B" blood donors.

"Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion and right now we are critically low," said Bob Draper of the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross in Jonesboro say they only have about a day and a half supply of blood for Region 8 hospitals.  Something they want folks to roll up their sleeves to change.

Draper said, "95%of the people in the United States are eligible donors but only 5% do."

Type "O" blood donors are especially in demand. "If you were in a room with 100 people, 39 would be o+ and the most in demand is O-" said Draper.

Draper says the blood shortage is a serious concern.

"Our inventory is at 192 and we only have 100 so we are 92 units short and in the inventory, we're supposed to have 20 O- and we only have 4," said Draper, "We are supposed to have 60 O+ and we only have 16 here to take care of our eight hospitals that get blood from this facility."

You can donate for the Jonesboro Police or Fire Department during the "Badges and Hoses" blood drive on Thursday, June 14th from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. or on Friday, June 15th from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  at St. Bernards Auditorium.  Refreshments and t-shirts available to all donors.  Donor card or photo identification required.

There will also be a blood drive at the Malco Hollywood 12 Cinema at 2407 Parker Road in Jonesboro on June 16th from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Donors in June can also register for one of two $500 gas card to be given away from the American Red Cross.  To enter, simply donate blood or platelets at a Red Cross blood drive from June 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007 and fill out a contestant registration form.   The Red Cross Marketing and Communications Department will notify the winners by phone.

The Jonesboro Arkansas American Red Cross Blood Donor Center is open Monday through Thursday from Noon to 6:00 p.m. and on Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  They are also open on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  They are located at 1904 Grant Ave., Jonesboro, AR and can be reached at (870) 268-1990.