ST. LOUIS — As a producer for 5 On Your Side, I look for stories that will impact you the most. One that’s been a topic of conversation in our newsroom has been the blood crisis and shortage across the country. So, last week, when I needed a blood transfusion, that blood crisis hit close to home.
On Wednesday morning, I suffered a medical incident where I lost a lot of blood very quickly. I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening until I had passed out due to that loss of blood. I arrived at the emergency room at Progress West Hospital and shortly after the nurse told me it was likely I would need a blood transfusion.
I knew my blood type: AB Negative. That’s the rarest blood type according to the American Red Cross.
If you’ve never gone through a transfusion (this was my first) the lab will find blood, test it against yours, then start the transfusion process through an IV. I waited nine hours for the hospital to find blood, test it, and then go through with the transfusion.
I was extremely fortunate to have gotten two units of blood from a Type O, Universal Donor.
I have been a donor with the American Red Cross since I was 18 years old and eligible to donate. I will be the first to admit that I never donated much, unless there was a drive on my college’s campus or unless work was hosting a drive.
While I waited those nine hours, I did more research on this crisis and where to donate, when I would be able to donate blood again. I found two great organizations that help people right here in the St. Louis Area.
This experience changed my perspective on how critical just one unit of blood could be to someone. I hope that by sharing this experience, more people feel compelled to donate blood and help save someone in need.