2018-07-12 / Front Page

Donors asked to roll up sleeves for blood drive at LBC on Sat.

Vacation is over, and all the suit­cases are unpacked and put away, the car is cleaned out, and the family is all back, safe and happy. However, there are lots of people who have been involved in accidents over the holidays, which means there’s a higher than average need for blood donations.

“There is a real need for the people of Lincoln County to roll up their sleeves and donate blood, espe­cially during these vacation months. Donations tend to plummet during summer, as the regular donors are out of town,” said Hilary Daniel, County Nurse Manager at the Lin­coln County Health Center.

The Shepeard Blood Center is go­ing to be at the Lincolnton Baptist Church, 35 South Peachtree Street, from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, July 14. The center hopes that people will make plans to give their time and blood to save someone’s life. However, having other plans is no excuse. The center in Evans is open seven days a week and is just wait­ing for donors. The center is located at 4329 Washington Road and there is no appointment necessary. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m,-6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and even Sunday, noon-5 p.m. The need is real, and constant.

Everyone has either gotten a blood donation, or knows someone who has. Shepeard is the only pro­vider of blood and blood products to 21 local hospitals and three emergency helicopter services for the state of Georgia. Furthermore, it is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and has served local hospitals for nearly 40 years. It is licensed for volunteer blood donations only. The Food and Drug Administration requires that blood bags are labeled either “paid” or “volunteer” because a volunteer blood donation is considered to have a lower risk than a paid blood donation.

There are many different kinds of donations. The most familiar is whole blood. Platelets are used to treat patients with cancer, severe burns, blood diseases, and other conditions. They have a shelf life of only five days, so platelets are constantly needed. The blood type A+ is needed the most in the form of platelets. It takes longer, but there’s also free wi-fi to pass the time, cable TV, and don’t forget there are always cookies at the end. You can donate platelets every two weeks.

Plasma is the watery fluid that that transports cells. Plasma replaces lost blood volume, and helps maintain blood pressure. Plasma can be sepa­rated from a whole blood donation and can be frozen for up to a year and still thawed for transfusion.

If your blood type is AB, your donation of plasma, in conjunction with platelets, is most needed. You can donate plasma with Shepeard once a month. Since most people still don’t like giving blood, She­peard has come up with a variety of different incentives. One worthy incentive is the High School Heroes program. It provides resources for schools through hosting blood drives during the school year to help save local lives within your community. Each blood drive the school hosts that achieves its division’s blood drive goal will give the school $300 in equipment and supplies. There is no limit to how many blood drives a school can host.

There are several other induce­ments if you will donate on a regular basis. Shepeard has a points system. One person who donates on a regular basis collects points and may exchange the points for some nice gifts.

To donate, individuals must be considered “healthy and well,” weigh at least 110 pounds, and be at least 17 years old. Children who are 16 years old may donate with a signed parental consent form. All donors will receive a free Shepeard T-shirt, a free health screening, and post-donation refreshments. Participants are also reminded to take their Shepeard blood donor card or picture ID with them when donating.

More than 95 percent of whole blood donations is used for surgical procedures and treatment such as anemia, Sickle Cell Disease, child­birth complications, and transplants. You cannot get AIDS or any other disease from giving blood.

Moreover, there is a growing need for African-Americans to give blood. Regular transfusions for people with Sickle Cell Disease have been shown to reduce deaths from strokes and other effects of the disease. If these transfusions come from donors of the same ethnic background, there is less chance of complications after the patient receives blood.

For more information, contact Recruitment Specialist Jacqueline Clemmons at 706-737-4551, or visit the Shepeard Community Blood Center website at www.shepeard­blood.org.

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