Jackie Ross

Transfusion of blood and blood products improves and saves millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth.

In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making enough blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. 

An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors. The World Health Organization’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020.  

According to the American Red Cross, in the United States: 

• Someone needs blood every 2 seconds.

• Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.

• Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.

• Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.

• Only 38% of the population is eligible to donate blood. 

• One donation can potentially save three lives. 

In Missouri, people who are at least 17 years of age (or 16 years of age with signed American Red Cross parental or legal guardian consent form), weigh at least 110 lbs. and be in good health — that means you feel well and can perform normal activities – are eligible to donate. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes and you want to donate blood, it’s important that you are being treated and the condition is under control.   

When you donate, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and have a “mini checkup”. The donation center professionals will check your temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and your hemoglobin level to be sure you are healthy enough to donate. In addition, a history of your medication and international travel will be reviewed. 

If you are ill or have been running a fever, you should not donate. 

If you would like to donate, The Community Blood Center will be conducting a blood drive at the First Baptist Church in Maryville sponsored by the Maryville Elks Lodge on Thursday, June 20, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville on Tuesday, July 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

For more information on the blood drive or to schedule an appointment to give, contact The Community Blood Center at (877) 468-6844 or visit savealifenow.org.

 Jackie Ross, RN, BSN Community Health Liaison Mosaic Medical Center, Maryville