Red Cross: Donate blood for liver patients

American Red Cross encourages blood donations during October, designated as Liver Awareness Month. (CONTRIBUTED)
American Red Cross encourages blood donations during October, designated as Liver Awareness Month. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – With October designated Liver Awareness Month, American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood and platelets to support liver transplant patients and others needing blood products.

Liver transplants are the second most common type of transplant with more than 6,000 performed in the United States annually, according to the American Liver Foundation. Liver transplant patients may require more than 30 pints of blood during surgery.

For blood donor Amy Slattery, the need for blood hits close to home. Her mother received a liver transplant and needed more than 70 blood products during the surgery.

“I donate to help others that needed blood like her,” Slattery said. “I donate in thanks to those who donate their blood products to help save lives.”

Volunteer donors like Slattery are the only source of blood for individuals needing transfusions during transplants and other surgeries. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative, B negative and AB blood.

Madison County Blood Donation Center, 1101 Washington St. in Huntsville will accept donors on Oct. 5 from noon to 7 p.m.; Oct. 8, 9 and 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Oct. 12 from noon to 7 p.m.; and Oct. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 1418 Old Railroad Bed Road in Madison will conduct a blood drive on Oct. 5 from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

To schedule a blood donation appointment, donors can download the new Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores. For information, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), text BLOODAPP to 90999 or visit redcrossblood.org.

American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters and supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. For more information, visit redcross.org or Twitter #RedCross.

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