Library to host blood drive Sept. 3

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published August 27, 2015

 A donor checks out a free Red Cross app, Blood Donor, in which potential donors can make an appointment to donate, find a location near them, learn about the donation process and track their donor history.

A donor checks out a free Red Cross app, Blood Donor, in which potential donors can make an appointment to donate, find a location near them, learn about the donation process and track their donor history.

File photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement
Advertisement

SOUTHFIELD — According to the American Red Cross, you don’t have to be a comic book superhero to save three lives in a day. All you have to do is donate blood.


Members of the surrounding community will have the opportunity to be lifesavers again this year as the Red Cross blood drive returns to Southfield.


The event will be held 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 3 in the meeting room of the Southfield Public Library, 26000 Evergreen Road.


According to the American Red Cross website, one pint of blood can be used to save up to three lives.


Angie Bermudez, external communications manager for the southeastern Michigan blood services region, said there currently is a desparate need for blood donations.


Bermudez said there is a large need for O, A and B-negative blood, and the increased need is mainly due to the fact that most blood drives are held when school is in session.


“Most of our blood donors are ages 18-24, so they’re high school kids or college-age kids who make up for 25 percent of our donations,” Bermudez said.


The shortage also has to do with fewer people donating because of vacations and general busyness during the summer months.


“We are urging everybody to come give if they haven’t done so yet,” Bermudez said.


Southfield Public Library community outreach coordinator Kelly Rembert said she wants people to donate not only to save other people’s lives, but also because she has a personal connection with blood donation.


“You literally save lives. My life was saved by a blood donation when I was 2 years old,” Rembert said. “I had iron anemia and I had a complete blood transfusion. … Since then, I’ve had no problems and as soon as I turned 17, I started donating to give back.”


In order to donate blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health. There is no upper age limit.


Getting a good night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast and keeping hydrated are important for a donor to keep in mind. After people donate, juice and cookies will be available, Bermudez said.


“For a week leading up to the donation, eat foods higher in iron to be sure your hemoglobin and iron are at a good, healthy level,” Bermudez said. “That’s something they’ll check before you’re able to give.”


Although usually the total donation process takes around an hour, a handful of qualifying donors will have the opportunity to donate two pints of blood at once on a special machine, if they choose do so.


Called a double red cell donation, the machine allows the participant to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning the plasma and platelets to the donor’s body.


While the need for donations is large, Bermudez said some people may be turned away, depending on their travel history, prescribed medications or if they have had a cold recently.


“I encourage people to come on out. You get to relax for an hour, eat some cookies and save lives,” Rembert said.


A form of ID is required before donating.


For general questions regarding blood donations or procedures, call the American Red Cross at (800) 733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

Advertisement
Advertisement