River Region to host blood drive Friday
Serving on committees and boards, and donating time and money to non-profits, are ways to serve and help the community. Another way is by donating blood.
For those able to donate, the American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive at Merit Health River Region, 2100 Highway 61 North, Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The theme for this annual event is “Be Someone’s Super Hero.”
Zack Brantley, who is with the American Red Cross communications department, said those who participate will receive a t-shirt and a $5 Amazon e-gift card.
Donors will also be entered to win two tickets to the Oct. 6 New Orleans Saints game, which will include hotel accommodations.
The American Red Cross is the primary blood provider to Merit Health River Region, Brantley said, and to prevent a summer blood shortage donors are needed.
“Currently, Merit Health River Region has only a two-day supply of Type O blood and a three-day supply of all other blood types,” Brantley said.
According to the Red Cross website every two seconds someone in the U.S. is in need of blood, which accounts for approximately 36,000 units of red blood.
Statistics also reveal that 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily.
The Red Cross is the provider of about 40 percent of the nations’ blood and blood component, which comes from donors.
For those who would like to schedule a time to donate, Brantley said to visit redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code VICKSBURG or the zip code 39183.
Appointments are recommended but not required.
Those wanting to donate will need to go through a basic screening and provide identification.
During a private and confidential interview, the donor will be asked for information about their health history. Potential donors will have their temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin checked.
According to the Red Cross’ website, once all these steps have been completed, a donor’s arm is cleansed in the area where a new, sterile needle will be inserted for the blood draw.
A donation will take approximately 8-10 minutes, during which the donor will be seated comfortably or lying down. The website concluded that when approximately a pint of whole blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm.
Donors will then be given a snack and something to drink and after 10 to 15 minutes will be able to continue their normal routine.