Give blood, help others

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The abnormal cold snap the South has been experiencing has caused countless problems. Work and school schedules were altered, homeowners have worried over heating and frozen water pies. And, it turns out, cold weather doesn’t encourage people to roll up their sleeves and give blood.

The American Red Cross reported this week that type O negative and type B negative blood supplies have dropped to emergency levels. They are asking the community to give regardless of your blood type, but especially if you have these two types of blood.

Because Type O negative blood can be used for any patient when there is not time to determine the patient’s blood type, it is crucial that there is a sufficient supply.

Locally, residents will have an opportunity to give blood Thursday at First Baptist Church of Andalusia from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. and Friday at Florala Health and Rehabilitation from noon until 4 p.m.

The Stanford University School of Medicine’s Blood Center estimates that one of every 15 people has type O negative blood, and one of every 67 has type B negative.

Giving blood takes a little time and can be draining, but when people are in need it’s the right thing to do.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

The Red Cross encourages people who are in good health to donate so that hospital patients have the blood or platelets they need to make a full recovery. Blood is needed to help treat a variety of patients including accident victims and individuals undergoing surgery and cancer treatment.

Giving blood is a great way to help your fellow man, and only costs you your time.

Come on, roll up your sleeve. It’s nice and warm inside, but not nearly as warm as you’ll feel knowing you potentially saved someone’s life.