By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer
It may not transform into a spaceship or submarine, but the Northern Ohio region of the American Red Cross has a state-of-the-art, high-tech new bloodmobile to help save lives.
Thanks to the generosity of several sponsors, listed below, the new bloodmobile will collect approximately 28,000 units of blood over the next 10 years. As each unit helps up to three people, that equates to as many as 84,000 patients. These include those who have been in accidents, women giving birth and children with blood disorders.
To help illustrate the importance of bloodmobiles, more than 80% of all blood donations are made at mobile or organization-hosted blood drives. In addition, bloodmobiles are vital in reaching donors near homes, workplaces, schools and community-based locations.
Nationwide, the Red Cross holds more than 500 blood drives each day. Each year, more than 4.5 million units of blood are collected from nearly 2.6 million generous donors. Providing about 40% of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S.
Vehicles have long been a vital part of the Red Cross’ mission, from the wagon Clara Barton used as an ambulance in 1898, to the current fleet of bloodmobiles, emergency response and other vehicles used to reach those in need.
The new state-of-the-art bloodmobile, based in Cleveland, is 40 feet long and 8.5 feet wide. Designed to provide a safe, convenient and comfortable donor experience, the bloodmobile contains three health history booths where donor eligibility screenings are conducted and five beds where blood is drawn. It features advanced technology, iPads on each donor bed, a canteen and sofa area, climate control and a spacious interior.
The new bloodmobile provides the Red Cross with better access to new and harder-to-reach communities where the most needed blood types can be collected. It also better enables blood donations at corporations, community partners and organizations with limited space.
The new bloodmobile serving Northern Ohio is sponsored by:
- The Ahuja Foundation
- The Albert M. Higley Co.
- Allied Witan Co.
- Applied Industrial Technologies
- ArcelorMittal USA
- BakerHostetler LLP
- Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
- Diebold Foundation
- DiGeronimo Companies
- Ernst & Young
- FirstEnergy Foundation
- George H. Deuble Foundation
- The G. R. Lincoln Family Foundation
- Highland Consulting Associates, Inc.
- Hylant Group
- Lincoln Electric Company
- The Lubrizol Corporation
- McDonald Hopkins
- The MetroHealth Foundation
- Oatey Company
- Oswald Companies
- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
- Rockwell Automation
- Steris Corporation
- The Timken Company
- The Timken Foundation of Canton
- United Way of Greater Cleveland
- Willis Towers Watson
To help meet the critical need for blood, sign up for a blood drive at a location near you at redcrossblood.org/give or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer
Photo credit: Brian Selecky, American Red Cross