“Maximize me” could be a new mantra for people giving the gift of life through the American Red Cross.
“It’s human nature to want to make the most of things,” said Tiffany Hayes, Spokesperson for the Western Lake Erie Blood Service Region of the American Red Cross. “At the American Red Cross, we want to help our blood donors maximize their donation by recommending donation options that best meet hospital and patient needs.”
Whole blood donations typically yield three main components: red cells, platelets and plasma. Medical professionals may prescribe transfusions of particular blood components to treat specific patient needs. Patients experiencing chronic blood loss, surgeries, anemia or trauma may need red cells. Cancer patients frequently need platelets. Patients in shock, with serious burns, or with some blood or immune disorders may need plasma.
Blood type can play an important role in meeting patient demand for certain blood products. For instance, most patients can receive red cells from type O donors, while most patients can receive plasma from type AB donors.
“Whole blood is rarely transfused as an individual unit,” said Hayes. “Collecting blood components based on blood type can be extremely helpful in meeting hospital demand.”
Donors can give whole blood, double red cells, and platelets and plasma through particular donation procedures. Since type O and B red cells are in high demand, donors with those blood types may be asked to give double red cells. And since demand is high for type A and AB platelets and plasma, type A and AB donors may be asked to give these components.
“Our goal is to find the donation procedure that’s the best fit for you and for hospital patients,” said Hayes. “The main point to remember is this: whatever your blood type and whatever way you chose to give, someone needs you.”
The Western Lake Erie Region of The American Red Cross serves 11 counties, and needs to collect about 300 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 24 hospitals
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Ohio), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
Ottawa County blood drives in September are:
Sept. 1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., East Harbor State Park (sign up at camp store), 1169 N. Buck Rd., Port Clinton
Sept. 7, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Magruder Hospital, 615 Fulton St., Port Clinton
Sept. 8, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Catawba Township Hall, 3307 North West Catawba Road, Port Clinton