If you are eligible, give back by donating blood

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For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the health care issue that has been on everyone’s mind. It is understandable since it has been about 100 years since the world has faced a crisis of this magnitude.

In that time frame, though, other diseases and disasters didn’t press the pause button. There have still been patients diagnosed with such diseases as cancer and people who have sustained trauma. That means there is still a dire need for blood donations.

When you donate blood, you are helping people facing a variety of problems. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. They could be a cancer patient, an accident or burn victim, someone undergoing surgery or patients dealing with other issues. That need didn’t go away during the pandemic.

Different types of patients may need something different from the blood. Platelet donations are ideal for cancer patients, according to the Red Cross, because certain cancers and treatments can prevent patients from producing their own platelets.

Power Red is the ideal donation for trauma patients, like someone who is injured in a car accident. Power Red, according to the website at www.redcrossblood.org, refers to specifically donating red blood cells, with the platelets and plasma filtered out and returned to the donor. The red blood cells are used for trauma and surgery patients because they carry oxygen throughout the body.

AB Elite plasma donations are also critical as they help stop bleeding in trauma patients and help burn victims maintain their blood pressure and other vital functions.

Donating whole blood is also important, especially for sickle cell patients who require multiple transfusions and must be very closely matched to the donors blood type, usually from the same racial and ethnic group. Considering how sickle cell affects African Americans at a greater rate, there is a need for those donors especially.

There is a need for all types of donations. If you are eligible to donate, we encourage you to help out your community by donating blood, platelets or cells to help those who need it. If you don’t know if you are eligible to donate blood, visit the website to see the criteria for those eligible to donate.

If you fit the criteria, there will be a few opportunities in the coming weeks to donate — Tuesday, June 8, 1-6 p.m., Westmoreland United Methodist Church, 7286 W. Main St.; Wednesday, June 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Rome VFW, 315 N. Washington St.; and Friday, June 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 502 W. Chestnut St., Rome.

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