Beginning November 1, the American Red Cross will be the blood and blood products supplier for RMH.
“We have been serving Sentara hospitals in Virginia for over 30 years and are thrilled to now be supplying blood to our fellow Virginians in the Shenandoah Valley,” said Page Gambill, CEO of the Red Cross Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region. “We invite community members to come out and donate blood at our upcoming blood drives in the Harrisonburg area to support RMH and other hospitals around the state.”
The Red Cross is a well-known humanitarian organization that supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. The Red Cross operates as a community blood center with a nationwide reach, Gambill said.
“As the only nationwide blood system, the Red Cross has a unique opportunity to supply patients throughout the United States with blood whenever and wherever they need it after first ensuring that local needs are met,” she explained.
The Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Red Cross has centers located in Hampton Roads, Fredericksburg, Roanoke and Richmond and serves more than 90 hospitals throughout Virginia. The Red Cross holds numerous blood drives in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and will have many regularly scheduled drives at RMH and its community facilities.
“We're excited to be partnering with the American Red Cross,” said Diana Padgett, M.D., medical advisor to the RMH Blood Bank. “The Harrisonburg community has a strong culture of helping those in need, including a long history of generosity in blood donations to help patients at RMH. We now have a great opportunity in partnering with the Red Cross, an organization that can both supply the needs of the local community and help us to share our generosity across the United States wherever people are in need of blood products."
RMH uses more than 6,900 units of blood products per year, including 5,700 units of packed red blood cells for transfusions, said Kacey Raines, RMH Blood Bank lab manager.
According to the Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Blood is used for premature infants; people battling sickle cell anemia, leukemia and cancer; trauma patients; and many other life-threatening conditions. Blood can be donated every 56 days or six times a year.
The Red Cross notes that less than 10 percent of those eligible to give blood actually donate.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important to consider donating blood to the Red Cross to help your friends and neighbors as well as those in other areas of our country in need,” said Gambill.
To learn more about donating blood to the American Red Cross and local Red Cross blood drives, simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org
to make an appointment or for more information. You may also go to rmhonline.com or call RMH Healthsource at 540-564-7200 to learn about and sign up for Red Cross blood drives at RMH facilities.
According to the Red Cross, all blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.