Give the gift of life…give blood

Published 5:36 pm Thursday, July 16, 2009

At some point, every American will require medical attention that depends on a good blood supply, but most of us never contribute in order to maintain that supply.

Thanks to the generosity of a few people who give blood as often as possible – roughly, once every two months – there is usually enough blood on hand for the day-to-day operation of local emergency health care.

It’s time for more people to help out.

It takes only a few minutes to give blood and most employers will give workers the time off to do so.

It is perfectly safe to give blood. You can’t catch a disease because all equipment is sterile. Additionally, a screening process before you give blood ensures that donating will not endanger your health.

Look at it this way… blood is the fuel that makes modern medicine possible.

The donated blood is not only used as whole blood for wreck victims and surgical patients, but some is separated into different components so that it can be used for patients who need regular infusions.

A pint of blood, for example, can be used to help keep a hemophiliac alive, for the treatment of someone with leukemia and can be used by chemotherapy patients to fight infection.

When whole blood is separated into its constituent parts for the treatment of medical patients, one pint can help several people fight disease and stay alive.

So far, there simply is no substitute for human blood in medicine.

Until there is, every one of us is responsible for ensuring that when a relative, a friend, a neighbor or a complete stranger needs blood, there is an adequate supply on hand.