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Blood Drive to Support Fremont Police Officer a Great Success

September 21, 2010

A blood donation is the gift of life from one human being to another. On Monday, September 13, Washington Hospital invited the community to give blood to help support Fremont Police Officer Todd Young, who was wounded in August while in the line of duty.

Blood donors have turned out in droves across the Bay Area to donate in Officer Young’s honor and the public support for the blood drive at Washington Hospital was equally enthusiastic according to Sara O’Brien, a Red Cross spokeswoman.

"Since the blood drive at Washington Hospital was put together on short notice, we set a goal to collect 36 units of blood," she said. "But we ended up collecting 46 units of blood, reaching 130 percent of the goal."

Each unit of blood can be separated into components – red blood cells, platelets and plasma – to possibly help three different people.  The 46 units could help save the lives of nearly 150 people. 

"I heard about Officer Young’s story and it really motivated me to help in some small way," said Bev Heijn, an executive assistant in Washington Hospital’s Engineering Department. "Knowing that there’s a need for blood year round, I’m definitely going to become a more regular blood donor in the future."

Donating blood is a simple process that saves more than four million American lives each year. The process of donating blood from registration to blood drawing takes about an hour. It’s quick, safe and painless.

There is no substitute for blood to aid in recovery and healing of a sick or injured person. Blood is always needed for treatment of accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs and surgery patients. According to the American Red Cross, donated blood is used for someone every three seconds. One out of 10 hospital patients needs a transfusion.

To be a blood donor, you must be healthy, at least 17 years old, (16 with written parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last 56 days. Being healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. Those with a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure are considered "healthy" if they are being treated and the condition is under control.

"The Red Cross thanks Washington Hospital for its quick action in setting up a blood drive to support Officer Young," said O’Brien. "The blood collected will have a tremendous impact on the lives of patients at Washington Hospital and elsewhere in the Bay Area.  Families will not lose a loved one due to a blood shortage."

Donate locally

The American Red Cross Newark/Fremont blood donation center in the Cedar Village Shopping Plaza is located at 39227 Cedar Blvd, Newark, CA 94560 (next to Newark High School).

The blood center hours are:
Tuesday: 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Due to the overwhelming show of support and turnout to the blood drive, some people were unfortunately turned away. Washington Hospital appreciates everyone who came to give blood and recommends going to the Newark/Fremont blood donation center on the days and hours listed above.

Washington Hospital’s employees’ association (WHEA) often coordinates with the American Red Cross to hold blood drives at the hospital. For more information about donating blood, visit your local American Red Cross, or call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

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