Did you know about every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood? Type 0 is the most requested human blood needed by hospitals, and one car accident victim could need as many as 100 pints of blood. (Source: GiveaPint.org.)
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce will host its first blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Valentine’s Day, February 14.
Carol Graves, Miller-Keystone Blood Center account manager in Bethlehem, said UBCC Executive Director Danielle Bodnar contacted her about arranging the life-saving blood drive in Quakertown.
“We thought Valentine’s Day would be the perfect day, from one heart to another, as those transfusions are truly an act of love,” Graves said.
And while donors will probably never meet blood product recipients, Miller-Keystone staff do.
Miller-Keystone serves 29 hospitals including Lehigh Valley Health Network, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Geisinger Health, Grand View Health and Tower Health locations, among others.
Graves said winter months are an essential time for donors.
“They (donors) often stay away from blood drives because of bad weather and travel concerns, but the need never takes a holiday,” Graves explained. She said the winter holidays impact collection shortages. This, coupled with higher accident rates, creates a perfect storm of increased need and decreased donations.
“Every major holiday is a day we lose 400 to 500 units (Miller-Keystone’s daily collection average) of blood,” Graves said.
Graves’s professional background is varied, and she said working at Miller-Keystone is a perfect fit. “I love meeting new people and telling people about the importance of donating blood. Nothing is more exciting to me is when a new group comes on board,” Graves said.
It can be challenging the first time a group hosts a blood drive, but the rewards are tremendous. Set a realistic goal; future blood drives will grow.
Premature babies – weighing less than four pounds – is the age group using the most blood in the United States. There are 50 preemies born every day in Pennsylvania, Graves said. These tiny patients can use up to four pints of blood before they are discharged from the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
And cancer is the number one disease group using blood transfusions.
“Many cancer patients need blood transfusions during their chemotherapy, to counter the side effects of the chemotherapy,” Graves said.
Common blood donation misconceptions:
It’s going to hurt. Actually, it won’t. Donating blood is painless. Donors often “kid” one another about the initial finger stick, to determine your current hemoglobin, and that it’s the worst part of the process. That millisecond of discomfort is worth saving three lives.
I can’t donate, I’ve had cancer. Most cancer survivors are eligible to donate blood and blood products one year after their last treatment.
I have body art and/or piercings, that means I can’t donate. Again, after one year from piercings and tattoos, you may donate blood.
Those who are prohibited from donating blood include those on blood thinners like Warfarin or Coumadin, and those with certain heart conditions, check www.GIVEaPINT.org for eligibility.
Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 16-years-old and have photo a ID.
To register for the UBCC blood drive click here https://web.ubcc.org/events/Valentines-Day-Blood-Drive-1282/details.
|Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce||