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Blood donations key to National Preparedness Month

September 9, 2011
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09/12/11 The American Red Cross is among a coalition of organizations encouraging Americans to observe the Eighth Annual National Preparedness Month this September by doing simple things that make a difference when every second counts.

The Red Cross recommends three things most everyone can do to prepare for disasters or other emergencies: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed.

“The beauty is, those steps can be taken in advance, helping most everyone to be prepared,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.

Supporting blood donation or giving blood is also critical to any community preparedness plan since hospitals need blood on the shelves to respond to patient need. Hospital patients need about 40,000 blood donations each day for ongoing or emergency medical care. And when adequate supplies of blood are available every day of every week, the Red Cross can help ensure a swift response when and if blood needs intensify.

Blood is typically available to patients 24 to 48 hours from the point of donation because of the various steps involved in testing, processing, and distributing components like red cells, platelets and plasma. While many people roll up their sleeves during times of disaster, the key to a strong blood supply, Red Cross officials say, are steady and consistent donations throughout the year.

“It’s human nature to want to help when disasters strike,” said Whitman. “By taking some precautionary steps today—like donating blood—you’ll be helping, too, since you’re empowering yourself and our nation to face the unexpected.”

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Argos High School in the gymnasium, located at 500 Yearick Ave. in Argos.  Please call 892-5136 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Thursday, Sept. 15, from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus in the Hall, located at 901 E. Jefferson St. in Plymouth.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Ancilla College in The Evergreen Room C231, located at 9601 S. Union in Donaldson.  Come to donate and be entered into a drawing for a $25 shopping spree.  Please call (574) 936-8898, ext. 384 to schedule your blood donation appointment.

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Indiana and Ohio), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

About the American Red Cross

The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals.  In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts. 07/11AP0516

 

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.

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