One of my colleagues recently told me she looks forward to the blood drive held at Mount Nittany Medical Center. She said she knows that no matter how her day is going, when she walks over to the American Red Cross onsite and gives blood, she knows she has done something important. Someone will benefit from her donation in a tangible way.
People can come up with 101 excuses not to do it, but there is one very good reason to do it. You are going to help someone live. You know what else? It is pleasurable knowing that fact.
Mount Nittany Medical Center uses at least 10 units of blood each day. The patients could be Aunt Margaret getting a hip replacement, a cancer patient receiving a transfusion, the victim of an accident on Interstate 99 or a young mother with birth complications. The need is always there.
When supply runs low, we can’t just go to the local store to get a few units. There is only one place to get blood, and that is from those who chose to donate.
Actually when you give a unit of blood, chances are it will go to three different people. Blood is made up of:
- packed cells, or whole blood;
- plasma — just the liquid; and
- platelets — what’s used to form clots.
At Mount Nittany Medical Center, about six or seven people will have a transfusion with some sort of blood product in a typical day.
“If you have tried to give blood in the past, and you were not successful, try again,” said that colleague. She said the first time she tried to give blood she was in her 30s. Twenty years passed and she gave it another try. Now she is a “regular.” Mount Nittany Medical Center holds seven or eight drives a year and she donates at each one. “I put it on my calendar, like getting a haircut, or going to the dentist,” she said.
The next drive at Mount Nittany Medical Center will be 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm on May 6. To make an appointment call 800.733.2767 or schedule online at redcrossblood.org. If you tried in the past and it did not work out, don’t make any more excuses, try again. You will be glad you did.
Eddie Corona is administrative director of laboratory services at Mount Nittany Medical Center.