You could save a life

Published 8:05 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2007

By Staff
Our View
Hurricane season is just around the corner and the American Red Cross is preparing for the worst.
The Red Cross will be holding blood drives all throughout southwest Alabama within the next few weeks and is asking the public to respond to the constant need for donors with type O Positive or O Negative blood types.
Over half of the blood requests ordered by hospitals in this region is type O. O Positive blood has the capability to be transfused into patients with any positive blood type and O Negative is a "universal donor" blood, which means it can be transfused into any patient.
The organization must gather 700 units per day in order to meet the current hospital needs for blood and blood products. The critical component in the safety and constancy of the health care system is blood donation.
It is very important to give blood due to the increasing numbers of sick or injured individuals. In the United States, every two seconds someone needs blood. However, only 5 percent of the qualified U.S. population will donate blood throughout the year.
Blood is needed for emergency situations and for those individuals suffering from cancer, blood disorder, sickle cell, anemia and other sicknesses. Some individuals need blood transfusions on a regular basis to survive.
Some reasons people do not give blood are simply not acceptable.
There are some people who are afraid of needles, however most of the time when you give blood you only feel a slight initial pinch and about seven minutes later you are done and are ready to leave.
Some individuals believe that they are too busy to give blood. The whole process lasts about an hour and the blood donation time is approximately seven minutes. The rest of the hour involves registering, giving the staff member your health background and after giving blood, sticking around for some refreshments.
There are some who are afraid to give blood because they are afraid of getting diseases from the needle. The American Red Cross assures donors that they use a new and sterile needle for each donor and that the needle is properly discarded afterwards.
Some people think that their blood is not the right type. However, every type of blood is needed on a daily basis. If you have a common blood type, there are more people that may need that blood. If your blood type is less common, there are not as many donors available to give it.
All of these are poor excuses for not giving blood, especially when there are so many individuals who desperately need donors.
The American Red Cross standards for a blood donor state that you must be 17 years old, you must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in "general good health." It is important to eat correctly and to double fluid intake in the 48-hours before giving blood.
Remember that there is always a need for blood donors. By giving blood you could save the lives of neighbors, family members, friends or even strangers. The important thing is that you are doing something good for someone else's well-being and health.

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