It's that time again when people throughout the County have the opportunity to help their fellow man....and woman. The American Red Cross is calling for donors to give blood and platelets regularly to be prepared to meet the needs of patients in emergency situations.

According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2 million hospital admissions each year.

In March 2015, Kevin Frame suffered life-threatening injuries in a head-on collision during spring break. He received blood products to treat internal injuries immediately after the accident and during multiple surgeries while recovering.

Frame, who had to relearn to swallow, speak and walk after the accident, said,

“Without the blood and plasma products made available from donations, I would not be alive today to continue my rehabilitation journey,”

Regular blood, platelet and plasma donations help ensure that blood is available at a moment’s notice. In fact, it is the blood on the shelves that are used to help save lives at the time of an accident or sudden illness.

In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma because they can be transfused to any patient, regardless of blood type. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.

Platelets may also be needed to help with clotting in cases of massive bleeding. Because platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, there is a constant – often critical – need to keep up with hospital demand.

Donors of all blood types are urged to roll up a sleeve this May to help meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).