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Importance of Blood Donation

man donating blood

Of all the millions of Americans eligible to donate blood, only about 10% do so. With so few people donating blood, the supply is often in jeopardy, and there is a constant need for donors. Donations are essential for hospitals to have a blood supply for trauma patients and others in many circumstances, including surgeries, transplants, chronic illnesses, blood disorders, and cancer. Blood donors who have fully recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their blood plasma, which could help seriously ill COVID-19 patients. A single blood donation potentially saves the lives of up to four people. This small act makes a huge difference in your community. 

In the United States, the AB blood type is the rarest, followed by B. Types A and O are the most common blood types. Those who are type O- are highly sought-after donors because their cells can be transfused to most recipients. Knowing your blood type is an essential piece of health information. If you do not know your blood type, you will receive a card with your blood type information once you donate. You can also see if you have COVID antibodies when you donate.  

Before you can give blood, there are a few requirements you must meet to help protect both donors and recipients. You must be healthy (no illness or fever) and at least 17 years old. (Those 16 and under can donate with parental consent.)

During the appointment, you will answer a few questions about your health and travel history, and your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature will be checked. The blood draw often takes less than 10 minutes. The Upper Peninsula Regional Blood Center drives its “Bloodmobile” to collect donations. It serves as a blood bank for 13 hospitals across the UP, including Helen Newberry Joy Hospital. 

The next opportunity for you to donate blood in Newberry is Monday, July 19th from 2 PM-6 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church. If that date doesn’t work, you can make a blood donation appointment or walk-in at one of the UPHS Regional Blood Center collection locations in Marquette, Escanaba, Hancock, or Iron Mountain by calling 906.449.1450 or 800.491.4483(GIVE). Please consider donating to help your friends and neighbors in the Upper Peninsula.