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Be a hero; donate blood

October 4, 2016 | Filed in Archive

Blood Drive badgeYou don’t need a special reason to give blood, just your own reason

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12, in the HFM BOCES gymnasium. Donating helps HFM BOCES Career & Technical Education programs qualify for the Red Cross High School Scholarship Award.

The Red Cross scholarship, worth $200-$700, is awarded to a student from the CTE health careers programs who is pursuing a career in health care and continuing post-secondary studies. HFM BOCES qualifies for the scholarship by hosting at least two blood drives during the year, and reaching a 25 percent student participation level. The number of blood drives and participation determines the amount of the scholarship.

Some people give blood because a friend asked them. Some know that a family or a friend might need blood someday. According to the American Red Cross, the number one reason donors say they give blood is that they “want to help others.”

Whatever your reason, the need is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. And, you will feel good knowing you have helped change a life.

Donating blood is quick, easy and safe. Anyone at least 17 years of age, or 16 with a parent’s permission, is eligible to donate. After a Red Cross representative leads a potential donor through a health history screening, the donor is directed to a bed, where another Red Cross technician uses a new, sterile needle to collect a unit of whole blood. The actual donation takes about eight minutes.

Why should I donate?

According to the Red Cross, one of the most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood is that they “never thought about it.”

One pint saves three livesConsider this. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. That means that more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints and a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood. The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.

In addition, More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

The need is great, and continuous. However, although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually do each year.

Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors. Forty-five percent of people in the U.S. have Type O (positive or negative) blood, which can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.

Are you ready to donate? You will be someone’s hero – in fact, you could help save more than one life with just one donation.

Come prepared. Have a light meal and plenty to drink beforehand. Bring your donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification. And, bring the names of any medications you are taking.

Anyone interested in donating blood should contact HFM BOCES nurse Kim Bursese at 736-4681, ext. 4656 to make an appointment.

For more information about donating blood, visit the American Red Cross website at www.redcrossblood.org.

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