DESOTO—Of all seasons, summer tends to be the one when blood donations take a dip, and not the kind that cools you off when temperatures are in the triple digits. Summer is the single most difficult season for Carter BloodCare to recruit blood donors. And the blood transfusions required for many patients cannot wait until temperatures come down.
United Methodist Church of the Disciple is hosting a blood drive from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, August 12, at 220 S. Cockrell Hill Road on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Debra Sharp at (972) 217-0150.
At least three lives are saved with each pint of whole blood donated. When folks give life-saving blood, a leukemia patient might recover from chemotherapy more readily; a person living with sickle cell disease receives a boost in energy and a reduced risk of stroke; and a premature baby begins life a bit stronger. Giving blood is an extraordinary act that an ordinary person can do for another.
Recharging The Blood Supply
Nearly 61,000 fewer blood donations than needed were given through the Red Cross in May and June, prompting the emergency call for donations in early July. The shortfall was the equivalent of the Red Cross not receiving any blood donations for more than four days.
Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July. However there continues to be a critical summer blood shortage. Eligible donors of all types are urgently needed.
After issuing the emergency call, the Red Cross has experienced a 30 percent increase in blood donation appointments through mid-July. About half of the appointments were scheduled by donors using the free Blood Donor App or at redcrossblood.org. Despite this improvement, blood products are still being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, so more donations are needed to meet patient needs and replenish the blood supply.
“The blood supply is like a cell phone battery, it constantly needs recharging,” said Jan Hale, communications manager of the Red Cross Southwest Blood Services Region. “We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives and encourage those who haven’t to consider rolling up a sleeve and give the gift of life. It only takes about an hour but can mean a lifetime for patients.”
How To Donate On Your Own
Carter BloodCare says to #GiveForLife. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Other types of blood donations can be given more frequently. Make an appointment at a Carter BloodCare donor center near you, or donate at a local community blood drive. Carter BloodCareurges eligible blood donors to consider giving two to three times a year, if possible. Make an appointment this summer.
Remember to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water one to two hours before giving blood. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, feel well on the day of donation, and present a government-issued photo ID each time they give blood.
Potential blood donors may volunteer beginning at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds may give independently and there is no upper age limit for donating blood. For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call 1-800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.