Photo by Michael G. Seamans/American Red Cross

It’s Time To Roll Up Your Sleeve And Donate Blood

While thousands of people from across the country respond to emergency requests for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross, a critical blood shortage remains here in the U.S.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to always have a five-day supply on hand to meet the needs of patients and be prepared for emergencies that may require a large volume of donated blood products. Hurricane Dorian has made matters worse, and all blood types are needed.

There are always a number of opportunities to donate blood in the lakes area, but one of the larger three-day blood drives will take place Monday through Wednesday, September 16th-18th at Lakewood Church in Baxter. Known as the “Bring a Buddy” blood drive, this event encourages everyone to not only donate, but to bring a friend who has either never donated, or not donated for a long time. If you bring someone with you to donate blood, and you both donate, you’ll both receive a pass the Sertoma Winter Wonderland for this coming holiday season.

Most importantly, when you donate blood, you can save as many as three people’s lives. 4.5 million Americans would die each year without live saving blood transfusions. Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the U.S.

Here’s the real kicker: only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, and less than 10 percent make a donation annually. We need to step up.

The “Bring a Buddy” blood drive is on Monday and Tuesday from noon to 6, and Wednesday from 9 to 3 at Lakewood Church in Baxter. Talk to your friends and co-workers, spread the word at work and find someone to donate with you. Most companies will let you out of the office for an hour to donate blood. Call 838-LIFE, that’s 838-5433 to make your appointment.