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Donate Blood and Give the Gift of Life

September 06, 2011

Washington Hospital Hosts Blood Drive on September 12

Chances are that you—or someone close to you—will need donated blood at some point, given that one out of three people needs donated blood in his or her lifetime. And with just one blood donation, you can save up to three lives.

To give the gift of life, join the Washington Hospital Employees’ Association (WHEA), which is sponsoring an American Red Cross blood drive on Monday, Sept. 12. Community members are invited to join this effort to help people whose lives will depend on blood donations—including accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs and surgery patients.

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 45 minutes. 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 and, according to the American Red Cross, donated blood is used for someone every two seconds. And one out of 10 hospital patients needs a transfusion.

To be a blood donor, you must be healthy, at least 17 years old, 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.

Before any blood is collected, you will be asked about your health history, and your past and present lifestyle. This interview will be kept private and confidential. If you are allergic to iodine, tape or natural latex, tell the interviewer, so that the donation staff can substitute other materials.

A pint of blood will be drawn from your arm as your donation. The donation staff will clean an area of the arm from which they will draw the blood, using clean and sterile supplies used only for you. It will take about 10 minutes to draw the pint, and your body will replace the plasma, or liquid part, of your blood within a few hours. The blood cells will be replenished in a few weeks.

The blood drive being hosted at Washington Hospital will be held on Monday, Sept. 12, from 12 to 6 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, Room C, Washington West, 2500 Mowry Ave., Fremont.

Give blood, save (three) lives

To make an appointment to donate, you can register online at www.redcrossblood.org. Click on “Make a Donation Appointment” from the menu and enter the zip code 94538 on the “Find A Blood Drive” page and scroll down until you see the Washington Hospital link. You may also call and schedule an appointment at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543). Walk-in donors are also welcome. For more information on blood donation, visit the Web site of the American Red Cross, www.redcross.org.