08/09/13 Of the 2,250 hours of summer, countless are spent vacationing, gardening or just enjoying time in the sun. By setting aside just one of those hours to donate blood through the American Red Cross, you can help save the lives of up to three people and give them the gift of summertime, too.
“Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion in the United State. We need everyone who is eligible to donate to make an appointment to give,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region.
The need for blood often increases during the summer when vacation travel and activities increase the chance of serious accidents which may require lifesaving or sustaining care. At the same time, the blood supply can dwindle as donors become busy with summertime fun and overlook giving blood.
While all blood types are needed, Type O is in highest demand because it’s the only type that be transfused to patients in other blood groups such as A, B and AB. Hospitals also use Type O-negative blood in most emergency trauma cases when a patient’s blood type isn’t known.
The Red Cross is encouraging Type O donors to schedule and keep appointments, or to optimize their donation by making a double red cell donation. Donors who meet certain criteria may be eligible to safely donate two units of red cells through the automated donation process.
“Depending on your schedule, a double red cell donation may be ideal for you since you can give twice as much in just one visit,” said Whitman. “Whatever your blood type, however you give, someone needs you.”
Upcoming American Red Cross Blood Drives in our area are: Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at St. Isidore Hall at 803 West Bike Street in Bremen. Thursday, Aug. 29, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Culver High School in the Middle/High School Cafeteria and Saturday, Aug. 31, from noon until 6 p.m. at Centennial Park in Plymouth. Come to donate and receive a t-shirt while supplies last. This blood drive is sponsored by the Marshall County Blueberry Festival.
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.