January 4, 2007

Red Cross Blood Drive Set For January 9th

Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Volunteer Blood Donor Month. To help ensure an adequate blood supply, the American Red Cross Blood Services Missouri-Illinois Region has joined with the American Association of Blood Banks to stress the importance of giving the gift of life through the donation of blood.

January is also an important month in the process as blood supplies generally are low following the holidays and 2007 is no exception.

Local donors will have an opportunity to offset this shortage next week at the Red Cross Blood Drive at the First Baptist Church in Memphis on Tuesday, January 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

ďBy giving blood now, you can make sure that all types are constantly available for the hospital patients who need it to survive,Ē said local organizer Babe Gregory. ďYour caring and concern for our community can help save a life. Please come to the First Baptist Church on Tuesday, January 9.Ē

Every two seconds, someone needs blood or platelets to live: cancer, leukemia and sickle cell anemia patients, premature babies, accident and burn victims and those who suffer with other blood disorders. We all know someone who has been afflicted with these health challenges. The disease affects the patient and the entire family. ďThe Red Cross wants to ensure that all patients in need can get blood whenever they need it, 365 days a year, today and in the future. We can only accomplish this with your help,Ē said David A. Chumley, CEO American Red Cross Blood Services Missouri-Illinois Region.

O negative is the most critically needed blood type right now, as the O negative supply has dropped to less than half a day after the holiday period. Illness and trauma do not take a holiday and just because the majority of Americans took time off, the need for blood is just as great as ever.

O negative donors are considered universal because their blood can be given to anyone, regardless of blood type. It is preferable that patients receive their own blood type, which is why it is important for everyone to give blood. However, when there is no time to determine a patientís blood type, O negative is used.

Volunteer blood donors contribute to nearly all the blood used for patient care in the United States. If all who are eligible to donate would do so on a regular basis, blood needs could be met and shortages could become a thing of the past.

Most blood donors will never get a thank you from the people who receive their donations. Except under the rarest of circumstances, most will never know who their donations helped or how they were used. The fact that many people continue to donate blood regularly is a real testament to their selfless spirit and helping nature. Thank you, volunteer blood donors, for being heroes who help save lives every day! Become a hero today. To find a donation center or blood drive near you, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE.

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