Brad Burris, CEO, Pipestone County Medical Center
TO THE EDITOR:
Saving lives is at the heart of this request: please join local and regional efforts and donate blood this month. January is when critical blood shortages happen. Busy people might forgo donating blood in December. Or, plans to donate might have been interrupted by sickness or wintry weather.
For these reasons and more, we hope you’ll roll up your sleeve at blood collection points or bloodmobile visits in our community. We partner with like-minded organizations, such as the Community Blood Bank in Sioux Falls, to make sure the critical blood supplies PCMC patients need are ready for use. Five decades have passed since January was named National Blood Donation Month. More blood is always needed and in fact the need is urgent.
What your gift provides
Your single donation of whole blood can be used in many ways. Red blood cells are used to treat patients who lost blood in car accidents or other traumas or people recovering from surgery.
Plasma is the liquid part of blood, and providers often use it for patients who need a boost in blood volume or require treatment to improve blood clotting.
Platelets in the blood is the component that controls bleeding. Platelets benefit patients who are being treated for cancer or organ transplant as well as people with chronic illness or traumatic injury.
Simply put, when you donate blood, you spend those few minutes of your time literally saving lives, helping people who need you and making our communities stronger. Donation is easy and quite rewarding, especially when you carefully consider what it does for others.
Why people – like you – donate blood
National surveys of people who donate blood show more than 75% donors do so for a simple reason: To help others.
Think about the times you or your family may have needed emergency care. For individuals and families who face similar scary situations every day, a blood transfusion can make all the difference.
So this month, and all year long, you have the chance to be that person who makes a difference.
If you are in good health, are at least 16 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds, you likely qualify to give blood. You can donate blood every 56 days, or six times a year.
Each of us who steps forward to contribute will receive the rich reward that comes with knowing we may have helped to save a life. Please watch for upcoming blood donation events in our community.