Give blood to aid in protecting lives
As we begin the New Year, we join the Blood Bank of Delmarva and the Red Cross in encouraging individuals to resolve to roll up a sleeve to give blood this month and throughout 2017.
Approximately 41,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States. Every two seconds someone needs blood. One out of every 10 people entering a hospital needs blood. 4.5 million Americans would die each year without life saving blood transfusions.
At Anne Arundel Medical Center alone, some 3,000 patients a year — your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors and, maybe even you — receive life-saving blood transfusions. That’s nearly 7,300 units of blood needed each year without even counting what is need at the local emergency center or the nearby hospitals in Easton and Chestertown. Because there is no substitute for human blood, these patients are counting on caring people like you to donate this precious resource.
National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter — one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Inclement winter weather often results in canceled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, may cause some donors to become temporarily unable to donate.
“To become a blood donor is a New Year’s resolution that’s truly worth keeping,” Michael Waite, Blood Bank community relations director, said. “Over 20,000 patients a year in our hospitals depend on BBD donors to provide the lifesaving blood they need for surgeries, trauma and cancers, along with those who need blood transfusions to simply survive. That’s why we urge anyone who’s able to donate to strongly consider joining us. It’s the most personal gift you’ll ever give.”
Blood Bank of Delmarva operates five permanent donor centers throughout the Delmarva region, as well as more than 30 mobile donation locations. Red Cross offers numerous blood drives every month throughout the Shore. Check online for available dates near you. Area hospitals offer blood donation centers, open weekdays.
Healthy donors who have made a commitment to donate during the winter months are urged to keep their appointments. Each appointment kept, and each donation given, offers hope to a patient in need.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days — up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years old (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
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. You will be someone’s hero. Just one donation can help save as many as three people’s lives. Make an appointment to donate blood today.