Monday, July 23, 2007
I donated blood on Saturday in Southaven for Russell's Aunt Kathy. She will need it for her surgery later this month and we were a match, A-positive. I was really excited to be able to do it for her. I've never given blood before so I was a nervous wreck. The anticipation was the worse part! I felt a little tired for the rest of the evening at the baby shower but other than that I was great.
The Memphis community is currently experiencing an extreme shortage in the supply of two important blood types, O-negative and B-positive. These supply issues are affecting elective surgeries and treatment of chronic diseases.
Lifeblood compensates for local blood shortages by importing blood from other community blood centers throughout the country that have excess supply. A nationwide blood shortage however, is limiting availability of imports and exacerbating the local blood shortage challenge.
O-negative is the universal blood type that can be transfused to people of all blood types. About 14% of the people living in the United Stated have O-negative blood. Fewer than 8% of Lifeblood donors have type O-negative blood.
The U.S. Department of Human Services recommends a community maintain a seven day supply of blood to be able to respond to a disaster or major trauma in their area. Our area strives to keep a three day supply. 36-40% of an optimum 3 day supply is considered a pre-critical shortage; 31-35% is a critical shortage; at or below 30% is designated as an extremely critical shortage. We are fluctuating between a critical shortage and an extremely critical shortage.
Red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days, so the need for blood donors is constant. Lifeblood is asking all eligible O-positive, O-negative, B-positive and B-negative donors to go to one of Lifeblood’s donor centers and donate today.
Individuals age 17 or older who weigh at least 110 lbs. and are in good health are eligible to donate.
Donating blood was simple, only took me about an hour and my one blood donation can save up to four lives. Only you can help our community. Donate today!
For more information about blood donation, local blood needs and other relevant information call 901-529-6300.