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American Red Cross: Imagine a world without A, B and O

Posted: 2:36 PM, Jun 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-20 17:36:06-04

According to an American Red Cross survey, more than a third of people have never considered that blood may not be available when they or a loved one need it. Yet each day, kids battling cancer, accident victims racing to emergency rooms, and new moms facing complicated childbirths, need lifesaving blood transfusions.

Blood transfusion is one of the most common hospital procedures in the U.S. Yet, according to a new Red Cross survey, “Never really thought about it” was the primary reason among those that have given recently that they do not give blood. Also, more than half the public believes it is necessary to know their blood type in order to donate blood—this is simply not true.

Between June 11 and June 30, iconic corporate and civic brands as well as celebrities and influencers will remove the letters A, B and O – the main blood groups – from signage, websites and other public-facing platforms to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays and draw attention to the fact there simply aren’t enough people donating blood to help patients in need.

About Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services:
At the Red Cross, Cliff Numark oversees the engagement of blood donors, blood drive sponsors and volunteers for the nation's largest provider of blood products. Over the last 15 years at the organization, his leadership and dedication to serving patients who need lifesaving blood has increased the organization’s platelet donor base; boosted the percent of O negative donations, which is the universal blood type and can be transfused to any patient; and doubled the number of blood donation appointments made digitally, making it easier for donors to schedule. Digital sources now account for 25 percent of all blood collections.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Numark worked for a number of years as the Red Cross Southern California Blood Services Region’s recruitment director and then held positions as CEO of the Southern California Blood Services Region and as Biomedical Services’ West Division Recruitment vice president.