Red Cross needs blood

Published 10:16 am Monday, June 13, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
A young child lies on a hospital bed, a victim of a drunk driver. Doctors and nurses struggle to keep him alive, pouring pint after pint of blood into his broken body as doctors work to repair the damage. The bleeding is stopped and eventually the color returns to the child's face signifying that he will make a full recovery.
The previous story was fictionalization based on thousands of daily real-life occurrences. Real lives are saved every day by doctors and nurses thanks to the donation of blood to organizations such as the Red Cross.
From 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on June 16 the Atmore Red Cross is holding a blood drive at the Atmore City Hall. There is a constant shortage of blood for Alabama blood banks.
"We have a regular blood drive service out of Mobile, " Red Cross volunteer Dot Killam said. "There's always a shortage. This is open to the public."
To donate you must be at least 17 years old or older but less than 65, weigh at least 110 pounds and you must be in good health. Donors are not supposed to donate blood at any other drive for at least 56 days after their last donation.
"They also need a valid ID," Killam said. "All blood types are needed."
You can donate blood even if you have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication. You can also donate if you are diabetic, have allergies or take allergy shots, or if you have recently had surgery and have been released by your doctor to give blood.
The Red cross will ask questions to determine if you are a viable blood donor.
According to information provided by the Red Cross, blood may not be donated if you have cold or flu symptoms, take heart medication, have had hepatitis, have HIV or Aids, are pregnant or have recently been pregnant, or are taking antibiotics. If you have gone to a high-malaria risk country or have lived in the United Kingdom the Red Cross asks that you speak to an American Red Cross nurse before attempting to donate.
"When you go in to donate blood they screen you," Killam said. " If you pass they take your blood. Once the blood is taken the blood services take over from there."
The blood service will screen your blood for sexually transmitted diseases or other illnesses that may be in the blood, Killam said. If anything is found they will contact you.
The Red Cross has a goal of 50 pints of blood. That blood could save the lives of someone you know.

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