Published on January 19, 2015

January: Blood Donor Month

PELLA, Iowa – Blood donors save lives. Every two seconds, someone, somewhere needs blood. Each year, thousands of people give selflessly of themselves by making a blood donation. Through this simple act, donors create the vital link between life-giving blood and the hospital patient who needs it.

At Pella Regional Health Center, we get our blood products from LifeServe Blood Center and 30 – 60 units are transfused each month. In 2014, the hospital transfused 27 units of Fresh Frozen Plasma, 14 units of platelets and 467 units of packed red blood cells.

“Donating blood is a safe, simple procedure and a great way to help your neighbors,” said Eloise Seams, MLS (ASCP)CM SBB, Blood Bank Specialist at Pella Regional Health Center. “One patient may require numerous units of blood or blood products. We typically have 40 units of packed red blood cells, 16 units of fresh frozen plasma, 4 units of cryoprecipitate, and 1 platelet unit available.”

Local businesses, schools, churches, etc. can schedule blood donor drives by coordinating with LifeServe Blood Center in Des Moines. Contact information is available at their website.

Did you know?
• Only 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10 percent donate annually.
• There is no substitute for human blood.
• You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
• Healthy adults who are 16 years old and weigh at least 120 pounds may donate one pint of whole blood – the most common form of donation – every 56 days.
• One unit of whole blood is roughly the equivalent of one pint.
• About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.
• One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets.

Nine out of ten people who live to age 70 will use blood during their lifetime. New, first time donors, as well as established donors, are needed to expand and sustain the donor base.

For information about how to make a donation or to find a blood drive near you, go to www.lifeservebloodcenter.org/donate.