Blood donations critically needed for local use

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2007

You never know whom you might help through the gift of blood.

Ivy Pittman, accounts manager for the Gulf Coast Region of the American Red Cross, spoke to the Greenville Lions on Monday about the continuing, critical need for blood donations in the area.

&#8220We are coming up on Labor Day weekend, and we will see the number of accidents go up. Do you know how many units of blood the average accident victim uses? 100 units,” Pittman said.

She said her own child's life was saved by the generosity of blood donors. The child was born with a condition that affected his breathing.

&#8220The machine that gave his heart and lungs a break used six to eight units of blood a dayŠ if people hadn't donated those pints of blood, he wouldn't be here today.”

Pittman said only three percent of eligible donors give blood in this part of the state, meaning the Red Cross has to often obtain blood from other states for patients in need in Alabama.

&#8220If we all gave just twice a year - and you can give up to six times a year - we would have enough blood for our needs,” Pittman said.

Local citizens will have a chance to &#8220give the gift of life” at L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital today from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. as the Red Cross brings its Blood Donor trailer to the facilities.

Donors should bring their driver's license, be at least 110 lbs. and at least 17 years of age.

Donors at today's blood drive will receive a T-shirt, a chance to win a $500 gift card and one of several local gift certificates.