Good Case Study On American Red Cross

Type of paper: Case Study

Topic: Blood, Donation, United States, America, Red Cross, Welfare, Blood Donation, Nursing

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/09/12

The American Red Cross is one of the United States premier humanitarian organizations, dedicated to ease human suffering especially during emergency situation. The organization was founded by Clara Barton on May 21, 1881 in Washington D.C and has since then provided relief to other people. One of the American Red Cross program is the blood collection, processing and distribution. This program was first introduced during the Second World War by Dr. Charles Drew, in order to saves the lives of the American soldiers who were wounded in the battle field. After the war, a nationwide blood donation plan was initiated, and has now become a culture of the organization to hold regular blood donation drives. To this day, there are millions of supporters and donors of the American Red Cross that contributed to the success of the organization in its mission to provide the needed blood for many of the country’s medical institutions. However, despite the number of volunteer donors, the American Red Cross is experiencing low level of blood inventory, and such may result to compromising health care of patients.

Facts about Blood and Blood Needs in the United States

According to statistics, more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, and there is one patient who needs blood transfusion in every two seconds in the United States alone. The annual number of blood donors in the U.S. is approximately 9.2 million, however, low level of blood inventory is observed at American Red Cross due to the increase need for blood. There are 30,000 million blood components that are transfused each year, and such number is increasing due to the increase of diseases that require frequent blood transfusions. For example, sickle cell disease afflicted more than 70,000 individuals in the U.S., while an estimated 1000 babies are born with the disease. These patients needed periodic blood transfusions to survive.

Other Examples of Blood Use:

1. Automobile Accident 50 units of blood
2. Heart Surgery 6 units of blood / 6 units of platelets
3. Organ Transplant 40 units of blood / 30 units of platelets
4. 20 bags of cryoprecipitate 25 units of fresh frozen plasma
5. Bone Marrow Transplant 120 units of platelets / 20 units of blood
6. Burn Victims 20 units of platelets
Source: Friends2support.org, Blood Donation Facts. Retrieved from http://www.friends2support.org
Four blood components can be derived from blood donations: these are the red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate (American). A single donation amounts to a pint of blood that can be used to help three patients. A person good health and with a healthy bone marrow can constantly donate blood, as his body can be able to replace the elements in a matter of hours to just a few days. Donated blood components are usable with different duration. Red blood cells are good up to 42 days, while plasma and cryoprecipitate can be stored in a frozen state, and is usable up to one year after it was collected. There is however, a need for constant donation for plasma since this component should be used immediately, approximately within five days after its collection. One donor may be able to donate either whole blood or just a component, and his blood should undergo extensive testing for HIV, hepatitis B and C and other blood borne disease before these donations are distributed to medical institutions.

Blood Types and Diversity of the U.S Population:

Caucasians Afro-Americans Hispanic Asian
O+ 37% 47% 53% 39%

O- 8% 4% 4% 1%

A+ 33% 24% 29% 27%

A- 7% 2% 2% 0.5%

B+ 9% 18% 9% 25%

B- 2% 1% 1% 0.4%

AB+ 3% 4% 2% 7%
AB- 1% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1%

Source: American Red Cross, Learn About Blood. Retrieved from

http://www.americanredcross.org
The American Red Cross and its’ blood donors has helped millions of patients annually. Treatment for cancer, trauma, organ transplants and numerous diseases calls for the much needed blood transfusions. There is, however, the problem on blood shortage in many hospitals. “Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood (), and they’re relying to on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead” said Page Gambill, CEO of the Red Cross Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region (Caba). There is no bodily fluid that can replace blood, and its components cannot be artificially produced, hence the need for generous donors. According to statistics, an approximate two thirds of the American population are healthy and qualified enough to donate blood, however, only 5% or less of this population participated in blood-letting drives. Most of those who donate blood say that they do so because of their want to help those who are in need, while those who don’t give blood said that it never cross their mind to donate and some reasoned that they don’t like needles.
Notwithstanding the summer and winter shortages, the American Red Cross often are short of blood types O-negative blood (red cells) and type AB-positive plasma. Type O-negative bloods are in great demand as this is the universal blood type that is needed in emergency situations, when the patients’ blood type is yet undetermined. On the other hand, only about 3% of the population has AB-positive blood types. They are the universal donors of plasma, the blood component in situations such as for newborns and other cases that needed massive blood transfusions.
Everyone is encouraged to donate blood, however; the United States Food and Drug Administration have set its criteria for one to be eligible to donate blood. One must at least be 17 years of age, weighing no less than 110 pounds. This is to give assurance that the donor is physically prepared to give blood and will stay in good shape after the process. An individual who started donating blood at 18 can do so every after 90 days until he reached 60 (Blood).

Inventory Management Problems

The American Red Cross a well- planned inventory management scheme with the use of its top-down approach in conducting blood drives and collecting blood donations. There are, however, problems that arise in the process:
a. The long lead of scheduling increases the uncertainty of being able to collect enough amount of blood at the time of collection.
b. The unpredictable number of blood donors cause the amount of blood collected throughout the year.
c. The imbalance of demand and supply. The demand for blood is at its highest during summer, but it also the time when university donors are on vacation. It is to be noted that campus donations comprise about 20% of all blood donations (Donors).
d. In some instances, some blood became outdated. Outdating happens when the blood can no is stored long enough that it became unsuitable for use.

The Current Inventory Practice

The American Red Cross conducts an intensive campaign to educate people about the goodness of donating blood. Their nation- wide campaign is effective in collecting blood needed for the organizations mission of providing for those who are need. There is uncertainty as to the amount that ARC collects in its blood drives, due to many factors associated with donating. A clear communication of the blood centers and its volunteers may minimize some of the uncertainty.

Suggested Changes in ARC’s Inventory Planning

The problem that came with blood collection drives is the uncertainty of the number of donors, the amount of blood, and the amount of blood per blood type. This can be solved by intensively communicating with the local blood centers and if possible the blood donors. There is need for more intensive campaign in order to meet the needed amount for every hospital.

About Pricing Policy

The American Red Cross gets its blood inventory from well-meaning donors without having to pay for donations. It is suggested that the organization gives the blood for free, as it is in line with ARC’s mission of helping people who are in need. The organization may collect only for the amount it spent in conducting blood drives and the costs associated with the program. The organization thrived for many decades because of the good heart of many financial and non- financial donors and should it is suggested that ARC should continue to serve for free.
Notwithstanding the summer and winter shortages, the American Red Cross often are short of blood types O-negative blood (red cells) and type AB-positive plasma. Type O-negative bloods are in great demand as this is the universal blood type that is needed in emergency situations, when the patients’ blood type is yet undetermined. On the other hand, only about 3% of the population has AB-positive blood types. They are the universal donors of plasma, the blood component in situations such as for newborns and other cases that needed massive blood transfusions.
The American Red Cross makes an effort to provide blood for individuals who needs the fluid. Unlike some countries and other institutions that require the recipient to replace the blood, the organization does not require its patient to do so, thus freeing the person and his family form the anxiety of looking for donors. The organization has set up partnership with many community leaders in order to sponsor as many blood drives as possible. It provided convenient locations for individuals to donate blood. For example, the American Red Cross made an effort to cooperate with more than 50,000 sponsors and was able to hold more than 200,000 blood drives annually.
The American Red Cross has continually issued emergency calls for blood donations. This is in response to the inventory level of blood being down due to fewer donations. The information drive reminds the U.S. population that their blood donation can be donated safely once within 56 days, while the platelets can be given once within seven days. Media reports further inform the public that there are patients who are dependent on the generosity of blood donors for their survival.
The American Red Cross is in dire need for donations to provide for the many medical institutions that are dependent on the collected blood from its various blood drives. Though majority of the United States population are healthy and eligible enough to donate blood, many of them are adamant to give for some reasons. The American Red Cross is still faced with the problem of convincing people to take part and be more active in blood donation drives. The organization has to figure out ways to persuade people on the goodness of blood giving.

References

American Red Cross. Learn About Blood. Retrieved from htt://www.redcross.org
Friends2Support. org. Blood Donation Facts. Retrieved from http//www.friends2support.org
Blood Donors Needed to Help Hospital Patients. American Red Cross. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org
Caba, J. American Red Cross Issues Blood Donation Call Fearing Looming Shortage: Why Giving is so Important. Medical Daily. Retrieved from http://www.medicaldaily.com

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