We see blood drives often, sometimes at doctors’ offices, schools, or even grocery stores. Many people donate regularly, while others only give once, but some people might be wondering why there are so many blood drives. What do they help with? Which ones are reliable? When a public health effort, like blood drives, becomes common place, it can be easy to forget just how much blood drives provide for communities.
In honor of Blood Donor Appreciation Month, and in conjuncture with our own blood drive on January 24th, Red River ER wants to talk about the importance of blood drives and how they can make Sherman a healthier city in Texas.
Why donate blood?
While this question seems self-explanatory to some, it bears some extra thought. Blood donations can, of course, go to helping patients who have suffered severe injuries and lost some of their own blood, but they can also do much more. Blood platelets can be extracted from donations and used to help certain cancer patients with their treatment. Anyone with sickle-cell anemia and other chronic health conditions can benefit from blood donations too and receive these healthier red blood cells. Even patients who have suffered burns can benefit from blood donations, by getting new plasma to help their bodies heal.
With so many different uses, a single blood donation can not just save a life, but can positively influence the lives of many ill or injured patients.
What kind of blood is best to donate?
It is true that patients in need of a blood transfusion can only receive donated blood which matches their own, but this doesn’t mean that some people can’t donate blood. Blood type O-negative is the universal donor, meaning it can match to any other blood type, and blood type AB are usually rarer blood types to find. While these two are more highly sought-after blood types, since they serve a specific need by patients, anyone can give blood.
The only restrictions that exist on giving blood come in age, health condition, and genetic factors. This means that children should not be donating blood and those who are sick, injured, or have a genetic disorder should not give either. If you’re concerned about any of these factors, or worried about certain medications, then talk with your doctor about whether or not you should give blood.
Where should you give blood?
Some people might worry about their local blood donation. How clean is a store holding a drive? Do they have qualified nursing staff? These are some valid concerns that might come up before someone’s first time giving blood, but rest assured that most blood drives are very credible. If you’re worried about whether or not a blood drive is legitimate, then see who the recipients of that blood drive are. The American Red Cross is a national organization which often helps to host and collect blood donations, but there are other organizations too. The Texoma Regional Blood Center, for example, provides blood donations, drives, and supplies for local patients and hospitals here in Sherman.
If you’re thinking about giving blood in Sherman, then we here at Red River ER encourage you to mark your calendar for January 24th!
Our facility will be hosting a blood drive on January 24th from 9:00am-4:00pm
All of our donations will be going directly to the Texoma Regional Blood Center, where they will be used to directly benefit the health and happiness of local families.
This month think about how important blood donations can be. Whether you have benefited from a blood transfusion or know someone who has, you’ll know that there is no wrong time to give blood. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you might have, and look into local blood drives today. Red River ER, in both our blood drive and our commitment to concierge-level medical care, are here to support all blood donors and recipients this month.
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