Be a sum­mer­time hero; give blood

Record Observer - - Opinion -

Schools are let­ting out for the sum­mer and many fam­i­lies are mak­ing plans for va­ca­tions and plenty of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. So who’s think­ing about giv­ing blood? Blood banks. World Blood Donor Day was Tues­day, June 14, and the Blood Bank of Del­marva has put out the clar­ion call once again for healthy folks across the Del­marva Penin­sula to help mark the oc­ca­sion by giv­ing up a pint, or some platelets, some­time this month.

The Blood Bank of Del­marva serves 1.6 mil­lion res­i­dents and 18 hos­pi­tals on the Del­marva Penin­sula and has more than 125,000 fam­i­lies as mem­bers. More than 2,100 busi­ness and or­ga­ni­za­tions spon­sor and sup­port the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Red Cross, the sum­mer months can be an es­pe­cially difficult time to keep a suf­fi­cient sup­ply of blood on hand for trans­fu­sions. Peo­ple get busy with sum­mer leisure ac­tiv­i­ties, and travel plans may re­duce their avail­abil­ity to give. But the need for blood re­mains con­stant and crit­i­cal. And that’s pre­cisely the point of World Blood Donor Day.

Ev­ery two sec­onds in the United States, some­one needs a life­sav­ing trans­fu­sion. That’s a lot of blood, and that’s why blood banks are al­ways keep­ing their nee­dles sharp.

All types of blood are al­ways needed, from the most com­mon O pos­i­tive (about 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion) to the rarest AB neg­a­tive (1 per­cent or less). If it’s red, they’ll take it.

Blood can be safely do­nated by a healthy per­son ev­ery 56 days. Platelets can be given ev­ery seven days — up to 24 times a year. Those who are at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in gen­er­ally good health may be el­i­gi­ble to do­nate blood.

When you show up, you’ll un­dergo a mini-phys­i­cal where your tem­per­a­ture, pulse, blood pres­sure and he­mo­glo­bin level will be checked. The ac­tual do­na­tion process takes about 10 min­utes in a safe, ster­ile en­vi­ron­ment where you’ll be com­fort­ably seated.

Do­nat­ing blood has many ben­e­fits. It feels great to do­nate. You get free juice and cook­ies. It’s some­thing you can spare. You will help en­sure blood is on the shelf when needed — maybe by you or by some­one you care about. Just one do­na­tion can help save the lives of as many as three peo­ple. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to https://www.del­mar­v­ablood.org. For a list of donor cen­ters and mo­bile blood drives for the Blood Bank of Del­marva, go to https://www.del­mar­v­ablood. org/do­nate/blood-do­na­tion-sites/#blood-drive-lo­ca­tions or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 to make an ap­point­ment to do­nate blood.

Roll up your sleeve, and be some­body’s hero.

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