Red Cross Blood Products Prolong Life of Two-Year-Old Las Vegan

December 18, 2013 by
Filed under: Articles 

Two-year-old Sawyer Balonek of Las Vegas has been diagnosed with Bruton Agammaglobulinemia, an inherited immunodeficiency disease.  He has to have an infusion of immunoglobulin every four weeks from plasma extracted from blood given by volunteer donors.

 

The blood products needed by Sawyer are provided by the American Red Cross.  The Red Cross is the predominant blood supplier in Las Vegas and has held several blood drives in Sawyer’s honor to help make sure he gets the blood products he needs.  Sawyer’s parents agree that Sawyer is alive today because of the excellent medical care he has received and the blood products provided by the Red Cross.

 

In 2010 a group of local hospitals invited the Red Cross to bid for the contract to supply blood in southern Nevada.  The Red Cross won the contract, supplanting United Blood Services (UBS) as the provider of blood products for nine of the 14 hospitals in Las Vegas.  In order to meet the demand, the Red Cross strives to collect almost 900 units per week.

 

According to Julia Wulf, chief executive  officer of the American Red Cross Blood Service Region, “It is very challenging for us to collect enough blood in Las Vegas to meet the needs of the southern Nevada hospitals we serve.  We need more donors and we need businesses, churches and other organizations to sponsor blood drives here.”

 

To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

 

For more information about scheduling a blood drive call (702) 522-3998.

 

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About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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