Missing Types, Missing _l__d

Blood Drive at the Rayburn House Building Capitol Hill 2017

We all know that A, B and O are some pretty crucial letters in the alphabet. Without these letters, we end up with words such as the title up above. Yet, A, B, and O are more than just simply letters. They are also essential blood types. Furthermore, they are important blood types that have been missing in recent years.

Just as the letters A, B, and O are essential blood types, every donor is just as important to the blood donation process. Donors are needed to keep the steady flow of the A, B and O blood available. With the Missing Types Campaign, the Red Cross aims to show both the necessity for the blood types, and the important role that blood donors have in the blood donation process.

In recent years, the Red Cross blood donor base has been steadily declining as fewer and fewer people donate blood. In the past four years, new Red Cross blood donors have decreased by about 80,000 people each year. Furthermore, only three percent of the total population donates blood.

As this downward trend decreases, it greatly affects the availability of the main blood types: A, B, O. Without the supply of donated blood, the A, B, and O blood types start disappearing from hospital shelves all across the country. A person in the United States needs blood every two seconds. Yet without the critical blood type needed, patients aren’t able to receive the lifesaving care required.

The Missing Types Campaign aims to bring this issue to the forefront by raising awareness of the need for blood donors. The campaign will run from June 11 to July 3. During this period, numerous corporate and civic brands, celebrities and influencers will remove the letters A, B, and O from signage and items to illustrate the importance of these main blood types. The campaign will inspire new donors to give blood for the first time and continue giving. It will also remind lapsed donors of their importance and inspire them to continue giving blood as well.

During this campaign period, one of the goals of the Red Cross is to add 370,000 new and lapsed donors to the Red Cross donor base in the months of June, July, and August. In order for this ambitious goal to be reached, it requires the help of a multitude of people.

You can help by taking three simple steps. First, give blood by scheduling an appointment this summer. The blood donation process is relatively simple and only takes about an hour to complete. Visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/to find out more or to find a blood drive close to you. You can schedule a donation appointment on the same Web site; by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App; or by calling 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767). Next, recruit people you know such as family and friends and ask them to donate blood. Then, spread the word about the campaign. Remove the A’s, B’s, and O’s from your own name or take a selfie and post it on social media with the hashtag #MissingType.

So what are you waiting for? This summer, roll up your sleeves and be a part of the Red Cross blood donor family!


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