Fans were exceptionally good-spirited as many had to wait hours to donate due to the high turnout. Capitals players John Erskine
and Bryan Muir both stopped by the drive to sign autographs and talk to donors. Donors also received two lower-bowl tickets an upcoming Capitals game.
“I’m amazed by the turnout,” said Muir. “Donating blood is so important, and I’m proud that so many Caps fans have come out to help this great cause.”
With the 147 units of blood donated at the Capitals blood drive more than 430 lives will be saved.
“Once again, Caps fans have shown tremendous dedication to their team and their community,” said Shaun Adamec, director of marketing and communications for the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Blood donations are critical throughout the year, but when they come in such large numbers during a time of severe blood shortage, Caps fans have truly made a difference when it counts.”
While the demand for donated blood is constant, the holiday season brought blood inventory shortages due to donor vacations, cold weather and other factors. All blood types are needed on a daily basis. Currently, a particular shortage exists for type O and type B blood. If you were not able to participate in the Capitals blood drive, but would like to donate, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to find out about upcoming drives. Platelet donors may also schedule appointments by calling 1-800-272-2123. More information, including local donor center operating hours and driving directions, can be found at www.my-redcross.org.
The Capitals also hosted a press conference at Verizon Center prior to their blood drive. Dr. Richard Benjamin, National Medical Director for the American Red Cross; Gary J. Ouellette, CEO of the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region; Dr. Harminder Sethi from Holy Cross Hospital; and Dr. Gregg Pane, Director of the D.C. Department of Health addressed the ongoing need for local blood donors during this critical time. Also speaking to serve as a true testament to the need for blood donors was Karen Kerr, whose life was saved by blood donors during her 17th week of pregnancy.