This fall, I had some medical complications and developed a severe internal bleed that left me rapidly losing blood and admitted to Cheshire Medical Center. During my time living at Cheshire, I required four blood transfusions, without which I would not be alive to be writing this today.
Before my first blood transfusion on November 2nd, I remember being wheeled into the phlebotomy department for lab work and reading a sign that said “Urgent! National blood shortage! Blood donations needed!” and being grateful that my blood levels were just barely above the blood transfusion line. When I received the news an hour later that my blood levels had once again dropped dramatically and I was going to need a blood transfusion, so many anxieties ran through my head. “Are they going to have blood for me? What blood type do I even have, and is it common or rare? What if I can’t get blood until it’s too late?” I was lucky enough to receive all the blood that I needed and receive it in time, but because of the national blood shortage, not everyone is so lucky.
Every 2 seconds, a new person in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. But American Red Cross has had a 10% decline in blood donations over the past two years, declaring their first-ever national blood crisis. Medical professionals are sometimes having to make decisions about who receives blood and who has to risk waiting. A blood donation only takes about 10 minutes, and a single donation can save more than one life. If you’re eligible, please consider making a blood donation to help people like me whose lives rely on these donations.
I’m happy to report that my condition is slowly improving, and I hope to not need any more blood transfusions and one day be eligible to donate blood myself. Until then, I want to help make up for the blood I was lucky enough to receive. I’ve had four blood transfusions, so my hope is that more than four people can pledge to donate blood on my behalf. For information about eligibility, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/faq.html#eligibility and to find a blood donation drive near you, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive
Thank you for considering donating blood, and I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season!
(I ask that folks please respect my privacy regarding my current medical situation.)