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Pleasanton: Emphasizing the need for blood donations

Red Cross spreading message; interfaith blood drives also set this month

With the calendar turning to summer, organizations are working to draw attention to the need for blood donations to increase the supply locally and nationwide.

In Pleasanton, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Community of Pleasanton have partnered with the American Red Cross to host interfaith blood drives in July.

And on a national level, the Red Cross has launched the "Missing Types" campaign to raise awareness of the lifesaving capabilities that blood donations have and urge the public to make an appointment to give blood or platelets this summer.

"I have a liver from my amazing donor, Jake, but I languished in the hospital for four months. Much of that time, I was just a blood transfusion or blood product away from not making it," Pleasanton resident Rebecca Tervydis said in a statement.

"I received 56 complete blood transfusions and 10 blood product transfusions while I was waiting for the liver. If people had not donated that blood, I wouldn't be here," she emphasized.

During the "Missing Types" campaign, the letters A, B and O -- the letters representing the main blood groups -- are disappearing from brands, social media pages, signs and websites to illustrate the critical role blood donors play in helping patients.

National brands participating in the campaign include Ace Hardware, Amazon, The Clorox Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Facebook, Google, Oreo, PayPal, Salesforce, State Farm, Suburban Propane, Zebra Technologies Corporation and more.

Blood transfusion is the fourth most common inpatient hospital procedure in the United States. However, only three out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood, even though blood can only come from volunteer blood donors, according to the Red Cross.

A 2019 national survey conducted on behalf of the Red Cross revealed a disconnect between the public's perception of blood donations and the realities of patient needs. The actuality is that not enough people donate blood and without adequate blood products, patients face delays in treatment.

"Just last month, the Red Cross experienced a critical shortage of type O blood. When this happens, medical procedures could be delayed because blood products are not available," said Cliff Numark, senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services.

Donors can help fill the missing types by making an appointment to give blood, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Visit the Pleasanton Blood Donation Center on 5880 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 34, from 11:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, or 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Sunday through July 13 to give blood.

Alternatively, choose sponsor code "InterfaithCommunity" when making an appointment and go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 6100 Paseo Santa Cruz on July 12 from 12-6 p.m. or St. Elizabeth-Seton at 4001 Stoneridge Dr. on July 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to contribute to the Pleasanton interfaith blood drives.

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