Promoting Excellence in Maryland's Trauma Care

A collaborative statewide approach to address issues
related to all aspects of trauma care delivery

Blood Donation on Midday Maryland

On the March 1st edition of Midday Maryland, Dr. Mark Fisher – Director of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center – and Kara Goshorn – American Red Cross Coordinator at Meritus Health – shared with host, Elsa M., the importance of blood donation. 

Q: What is the current status of blood supply here in Maryland? 

A: It’s critical. During the pandemic, there was less donation. We are still facing this problem here in Maryland. For example, O- is in very low supply. O- is what is used for moms at the time of delivery for a blood transfusion, if needed. We really need individuals to get back out and donate. We are in a urgent crisis. 

Q: How does blood donation benefit trauma and burn patients? 

A: When suffering from an injury, there is the initial blood loss. We need to perform life saving surgeries and can’t do so unless we have the blood to support patients. 

American Red Cross – How Blood Donations Help

Power Red – helps Trauma Patients as RBCs carry oxygen throughout the body. 

Plasma Donation – helps Trauma Patients as plasma is needed to stop bleeding and helps burn patients to maintain their blood pressure. 

Q: What is the process for donating blood? 

A: Medical history and health history is reviewed. Hemoglobin levels are checked (higher for Red Cross). Total time is 1 hour – medical/health history reviewed, donating blood, and the dos and do nots for the next 72 hours, and head to canteen area for refreshments. If you’d like to donate more blood, Power Red is where they take double the amount of blood (based on body composition). 

American Red Cross – The Blood Donation Process

Q: How do we know if we are eligible to give blood? 

A: Visit or download the Red Cross app to see if you are eligible. Review your health history or are taking certain medications, as those can impact your eligibility to donate.

American Red Cross – Eligibility Requirements 

Thank you Kara and Dr. Fischer for participating in our Midday Maryland Segment on Blood Donation.

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