Blood the perfect winter gift

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The American Red Cross is urging eligible donors to give the perfect gift this holiday season — a lifesaving blood or platelet donation. By rolling up a sleeve, donors can help ensure patients continue to receive treatment throughout the holiday season.

Busy holiday schedules and travel plans make it more challenging for regular donors to give, and many businesses and organizations postpone hosting blood drives during the holiday season for these same reasons. This can lead to a decline in blood donations, but the need is constant.

“While many of us gather with friends and family this time of year, patients may spend the holidays in a hospital room,” said Bernadette Jay, external communications manager of the Red Cross Appalachian Blood Services Region. “The need for blood doesn’t take a break for the holidays. Please make an appointment to give the most meaningful gift of all — the gift of life through a blood or platelet donation.”

Power Red maximizes donations

Blood donors with type O, B negative and A negative blood can help more patients with one appointment by making a Power Red donation at select Red Cross blood donation centers and blood drives. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells — the most commonly transfused blood component. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and are frequently given to trauma and surgery patients. During a Power Red donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and plasma and platelets are then safely and comfortably returned to the donor.

“With just a little extra time at their appointment, donors can have an even greater impact on patients in need,” Jay said.

Upcoming Charlotte County blood drive locations will include Red Oak, Dec. 8, 1-6 p.m. at Antioch Baptist Church, 6700 Barnesville Hwy.; and Drakes Branch, Dec. 15, noon-6 p.m. at the Drakes Branch Municipal Building, 4818 N. Main St.