Earlier this month, the American Red Cross issued a plea for blood donation across the nation, to combat an emergency shortage over the July 4th holiday week. Due to companies and organizations shutting down for vacation time, over five hundred fewer blood drives were put together over the 50 states than in a typical week. This led to an extreme shortage in the blood supply that is still affecting the country. One mid-week holiday that was a source of joy for most Americans turned out to be a life-threatening concern for many.
“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for life-saving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs. Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on,” said Red Cross Blood Services senior vice president Cliff Numark.
Donating blood is a kindness that can save someone’s life. Although there can be some negative side effects that come with the blood loss a donation entails, such as nausea and dizziness or lightheadedness, they tend to be minimal and dissipate over a few days for healthy donors. When performed properly by a trained technician, blood donation is completely safe. It involves a simple, onsite physical and blood test to ensure each donor is healthy and safe to donate. Fresh needles are legally required for each donation, to help minimize any risk of cross contamination and infection.
There are eight common types of human blood. Four groups are labeled A, B, AB, and O based on the presence or absence of specific antigens in the red blood cells and designated positive or negative based on the presence or absence of a protein known as the Rh factor. There are also a variety of rare blood types that contain other antigens. It’s important to know the blood type of both donor and recipient in a transfusion, as the immune system can attack foreign antigens introduced in the blood supply, effectively treating the transfused blood as an illness that must be defended against. For example, O type blood can be universally transfused, but AB blood may only be transfused into an AB patient. This makes it all the more important for those with rarer blood types to donate.
If you are healthy enough to do so, please consider donating blood. Your contribution could save someone’s life. You can find a list of donation centers on the Red Cross website or with a quick Google search. Don’t be afraid to help out today!
The Women’s Clinic, P.A. has been providing quality healthcare to the people of Tennessee for over six decades. Our mission is to be the clinic of choice for women by providing exceptional and compassionate care for each woman, with personalized attention tailored to all stages of her life. Our office is located at 244 Coatsland Drive in Jackson, TN. You can reach us by calling 731-422-4642 or via our website, www.womansclinicpa.com.