WEST READING, PA — As blood centers across the US continue to face a critical shortage of blood donations, Tower Health hospitals report they are currently experiencing lower than normal blood inventory at each of its hospitals. The health system is encouraging the community to donate blood to their local blood banks to ensure all local hospitals have an adequate supply. Individuals interested in donating can schedule appointments at Miller-Keystone Blood Center or the American Red Cross.
“In times of great need patients at our hospitals know they can depend on our team and the community for help as they heal,” said P. Sue Perrotty, President and CEO at Tower Health. “I encourage all eligible individuals to consider donating to their local blood bank so that, together, we can ensure the ongoing health and safety of our friends, family, and neighbors. One generous donor has the potential to save up to three lives.”
From October 1 through November 18 the team at Tower Health has transfused 2,128 life-saving blood products. The most common need for blood transfusions includes cancer patients who may need one to two units per week, sickle cell anemia patients could receive six or more units per month, and trauma patients may need 12 to 60 units of blood because of their injuries. The health system also supports NICU babies with transfusions of O negative red blood cells whose donors must meet special criteria.
In response to the shortage Reading Hospital and Miller-Keystone Blood Center coordinated an emergency blood drive that was held Monday, November 22. “Our hospital team members registered for all 43 appointments in less than three hours,” said Therese Sucher, Tower Health Chief Operating Officer and Interim President and CEO at Reading Hospital. “We appreciate the ongoing partnership with Miller-Keystone and the opportunity to host another donation event to address the ongoing shortages.”
Rami Nemeh, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Miller-Keystone Blood Center added, “With the holiday season upon us and Giving Tuesday on November 30, there’s never been a better time than now to give the gift of life through blood donations. Cancer patients, accident victims, and premature babies are in dire need for your help as or community blood inventory is at critical levels. Our blood inventory is only at 35% of the ideal level; 450 donors are needed every day to support the needs of our hospitals, please make your appointment today and become a hero.”
To be eligible to donate blood you must be 16 years of age or older and weight a minimum of 110 pounds. Individuals are eligible to donate whole blood every 56 days.
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