During the holiday season, it’s easy to stress over finding the perfect gift for family and friends. However, if you ask a cancer survivor or a trauma victim to describe the perfect gift, many would tell you the perfect gift doesn’t come in a box. It’s a lifesaving blood donation.
Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) is hosting a two-day blood drive next Tuesday, December 13, from 9:00am-5:00pm and Wednesday, December 14, from 11:00am-6:00pm in the SMH Health Education Building-Classroom 1. In addition to cookies and refreshments, all donors will receive a long sleeve t-shirt as a reminder of their service to those in need.
“We need a steady blood supply to care for our patients throughout the year, but it’s especially critical during the holidays,” said Rebecca Jones, SMH Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “We often see an increase in vehicle accidents during the holiday months with more people traveling on the roads. However, this is a hard time of year to recruit donors because so many are unavailable due to vacation schedules, illness or inclement weather.”
All blood types are needed to help maintain a sufficient blood supply, especially type O negative. Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.
“Blood is often needed for traumas, surgeries, premature babies, leukemia, cancer treatments and much more,” said Jones. “Since there is no substitute for human blood, these patients rely on volunteer blood donors to provide the blood products they need to survive.”
All donors are required to show a form of identification at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger.
“The perfect gift costs nothing but an hour of your time and it could save up to three lives,” said Jones. “By donating, you have a chance to truly impact the health and life of a friend or neighbor in need. I can’t think of a better gift this Christmas.”
For more information about the upcoming SMH blood drive, call (501) 776-6764.