You're somebody's type

  • Published
  • By By Lt. Col. Kimberly Lalley
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, according to the American Red Cross. Yet only 8 to 10 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood. Unfortunately, most people aren’t concerned unless they have a family member or loved one who needs blood.

One hour of your time can make a BIG difference. Donating one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Katherine Henry, Account Manager of the American Red Cross, Penn Jersey Blood Services Region, says people think about donating after a disaster but it’s the blood that’s already been tested, processed and placed on reserve that will be used after an unexpected disaster occurs. There’s the perception that blood is always available. That is not the case, she says.

The American Red Cross holds appeals for blood twice a year. In the winter, donations can be impacted by winter weather. In the summer, people are busy and donations drop. Every day the country needs 14,000 units of blood to meet the demand!

Donating blood is quick and painless. Henry likens it to getting your ears pierced. The most you’ll feel is a little pinch. Phlebotomists (people who draw blood) train for months before they can touch a person. The technicians are quite experienced and in some cases you won’t be aware that you were pricked. Most donors find the donation process easy, painless, and heart-warming.

Tommy B’s has regular blood drives scheduled. The process is set up to take no more than an hour and it includes registration; health history and a mini-physical; your donation and refreshments. Remember, it helps to hydrate before donating.

If you want to make a difference, and are eligible to donate, go to Type JBMDL in the drop down box and schedule yourself for an upcoming drive at Tommy B’s. The next one is scheduled for March 15th from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. but there are drives scheduled through June.

If everyone who was eligible just donated once it would make a tremendous difference. One pint can help three people and can be separated into red blood for one person, plasma for another and platelets for someone else.

Donating blood is an easy thing to do. Take an hour of your time and save three lives!