Submitted to the Herald Review

OSCEOLA COUNTY — This May, 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 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.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

• 10:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, May 3, Pine River High School, 17445 Pine River School Road, Leroy; and

• 1 to 5:45 p.m., Monday, May 21, New Hope United Methodist Church, 7296 9 Mile Road, Mecosta.