Blood need never ends -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Blood need never ends

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

CORDELE, GA (WALB) –  When 72-year-old Mamie Wright was rushed to the hospital, she was still talking, but unfortunately she was bleeding internally, and losing large amounts of blood fast.

Doctors were already using large amounts of blood on another trauma patient.

This month is national blood donor month and the situation at Crisp Regional Hospital highlights the need for blood donations, and shows just how fast patients can go through blood before they need more.

When you donate a unit of blood, sometimes its hard to visualize who your blood is helping, and what it's doing for a patient.

But Wednesday, several people in our area helped provide much needed blood to three trauma patients who came into the hospital within hours of each other.

Unfortunately two of these victims died, but thanks to blood donors and teamwork by all employees at Crisp Regional, the blood needed for these patients was supplied.

It was a crisis Doctors and nurses at Crisp Regional didn't expect.

"This was totally unexpected, we don't get very many traumas," said Dr. Guy Young, Crisp Regional Hospital Anesthesiologist.  "If we do its one, never two or three at one time."

Wednesday three trauma patients came in within hours of each other. "With those three patients, we went through 39 units of blood. The normal for a month, is about 120, so we met a third of what we do in a month, in one day," said Medical Technologist and Blood Bank Supervisor Gayle Miller.

Two of those patients needed a substantial amount of blood. One was 72-year old Mamie Evelyn Wright. She was shot three times by a burglar inside her home and later died at the hospital.

"We found out how extensive the injuries were and how quickly her blood was being released from her body," said Dr.  Young.

Wright was in the O. R. the same time as another gunshot victim who was also losing blood quickly.

"They were going through a lot. They were coming down from the O. R. getting two or three units at a time. Usually you wouldn't have two cases this severe coming in so quickly but with that happening, we quickly depleted all of our stores," said Dr.  Young.

And both patients required type O blood. "The O situation was really tough, because an O patients can only receive O blood," Miller said.

At one point the hospital ran out of O blood. "We had to order three different shipments of blood to get in here to take care of that volume," Miller said.

At one point, only five units of O negative blood were left-- in the entire state of Georgia. "And its really important for a person with O negative to donate, because we can give O negative to anyone."

Which highlights how important it is to donate blood. "It could really impact the lives of people who are thrown into unfortunate situations," Young said.

Because you never know where your blood will go and just who it will help. 

According to medical personnel at Crisp Regional, fifty percent of the population are O's, so if ten people come into the O. R. five of them will need O's. And O's can only receive O blood.

Everyone at Crisp Regional hospital really pulled together during the situation yesterday from just about every department.

Just one unit of your blood can help numerous people. Donating only takes a few minutes of your time, and it could save a life.


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