Liberty Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the American Red Cross, hosted a blood drive May 23 at the hospital. Twenty-two pints were donated, said Deborah Wells, Liberty Regional Medical Center blood drive coordinator, and the next blood drive is slated for July 18.
The American Red Cross is an organization that provides emergency assistance and relief to those in need.
Red Cross volunteers, blood donors and employees focus on preventing and relieving suffering around the world by providing disaster relief, blood donations, health and safety services. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, according to the American Red Cross website, and each donation can help save up to three lives.
Blood collected at blood drives or donation centers ensure there is a safe and adequate blood supply available for all hospital patients when and where the blood is needed.
A donor must wait at least 56 days between donations of blood, Wells said. To keep up with the demand, Liberty Regional hosts blood drives on the fourth Friday of odd-numbered months.
Donors may give up to six times a year. In order to donate, donators must qualify and meet weight standards, according to the Red Cross website. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 years old with parental consent if allowed by state law, weigh at least 110 pounds and be healthy.
At the drive, one pint of blood and several small test tubes are collected from each donor after a healthy history and mini physical are completed, according to the Red Cross website. After the donation is collected, donors receive snacks and something to drink in a refreshment area.
“Blood donations save lives,” said David Clark, who donated blood at the May 23 drive. “There are usually more car accidents in the summer … and with the holidays coming up, blood donations are very important.”
Clark donates blood six times a year with his coworker at Century Link, Henry Barrett. Both have been donating blood at Liberty Regional blood drives together for the past 15 years.
“It is important to us,” Clark said.
At every drive, Clark donates one pint of blood. After eight pints have been collected, Clark said, he receives a gallon pin. As of May 23, Clark has received 24 gallon pins since he first began donating blood. He expects to get his 25th gallon pin at the next blood drive July 18.
“If you give one pint, they say you help three people,” Clark said. “It doesn’t take too much time, and the blood is really needed, so I try to donate as often as I can.”
Tracey Moyse, a fifth-grade teacher at Frank Long Elementary School, also gives blood as often as she can.
“I am a teacher so I like to give back to the community any way I can,” she said at the blood drive.
Moyse’s blood type is O-negative, which is called the universal donor blood type. Her blood can be given to anybody in need, no matter what the recipient’s blood type is. She has been giving blood for the past 15 years.
“There is always a need for blood,” she said. “It really isn’t difficult at all, and our bodies will replenish the lost blood in just a few days.”
More information on donating blood is available at http://www.redcross.org. The next blood drive at Liberty Regional is July 18, and donors can register online or call Wells at 912-369-9400, extension 1037 for an appointment.