Give back and give blood.
The life-force of all animals is blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients to our organs and keeps us alive. However, there is not enough blood to sustain all life.
Burn victims, cancer patients, and surgeries all require blood from an outside source. Some of us are fortunate enough to produce blood that is healthy enough to save a life. Every time someone donates blood, they have the ability to save three lives with that one pouch.
However, that number is an underestimate according to Al Whitney, spokesperson and founder of Platelets Across America.
“When you give blood you don’t just save three lives, you save four; you save your own too. When you give blood it is tested for HIV, cancer, and other diseases, because the blood you give must be healthy. However, the American Red Cross will immediately notify you if they find anything potentially harmful in your blood,” Whitney said.
Whitney is about as passionate about blood drives as somebody can get. He has donated blood in every state and donated over 800 units of blood in his lifetime.
According to the American Red Cross, you can give blood about seven times a calendar year. Therefore, people can save up to 22 lives a year, just by taking the time to give a couple ounces of blood every three months.
MCCC is always hosting blood drives in the cafeteria. Here are some local blood drive events.
April 25th at Zion Lutheran Church 186 Cole Rd. 12:30-6:30 p.m.
April 26th at Monroe Church of the Nazarene 3401 S. Custer (M-50) 12-6 p.m.
May 7th at Jefferson Middle School (5-8) 5102 N. Stony Creek rd. 2-7 p.m.
May 13th at Moose Lodge 884 1320 N. Macomb
May 15th at Ellis Brach Library 3700 S. Custer Rd. 12-6 p.m.
May 16th at Divine Grace Catholic Church 9207 Joseph Street 12-6 p.m.
May 18th at St. Mary’s Church 127 N. Monroe Street 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
May 20th at St Paul. United Methodist Church 201 S. Monroe Street 12:30-6 p.m.
May 21st at Monroe VFW Post #1138 400 Jones Avenue 12-6 p.m.
We are the generation that needs to step up to the plate and donate.
“The average age of our donors is 55,” said Jana Gillberg, Manager of the Northern Ohio-Western Lake Erie Region of the American Red Cross.
“We understand that blood banking is not for everyone. Not everyone is eligible, or feels comfortable about it; however, the need is constant,” she said.
Before you decide to give blood, there are things that you must be aware of. According to the Red Cross you may not give blood if you:
-Have ever used needles to take any drugs not prescribed by your doctor
-Are a male who has had sexual contact with another male in the past year
-Have ever had any type of STD or virus.
The mission does not stop at just blood donations, hospitals and patients need platelets too.
Platelets are the component of blood that clots; burn victims and cancer patients need them the most. Platelets only have a shelf life of five days though, making it hard to get donations.
According to the American Red Cross, the donation of platelets can take two to three hours, this is because it takes time to ensure a full donation.
Platelets may be donated every seven days, and up to 24 times a year.
Giving blood is also a way to get a free blood test. After donating, I was surprised to know that my iron levels were high. I also did not know my blood type until after the test, which turned out to be AB+. Now I know that I am a universal recipient of blood.
Disclaimer: After a donation, the donated blood component will temporarily decrease. Plasma is replaced within several hours, platelets within 24-72 hours, and red blood cells replenish within several weeks.
Give life by giving blood. Your body obviously makes more of it when people need it. Blood expires within three weeks; therefore, there is a constant need for blood. Blood cannot be artificially created, so do your duty and save a life.