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Donating blood is a very personal commitment and volunteering your time and your very valuable blood, matters! It matters even more this week because we are short filling just over 30 spots. Community Regional Medical Center’s blood bank partner Central California Blood Center will park their mobile bus in the Kashian Lane parking lot from noon to 4 p.m., Wed., Sept. 25. Appointments are encouraged, but if open slots are available, walk-ins will be accepted too.
Blood donors may give once every eight weeks in order to allow plenty of time to replenish their red blood cells. The blood center will return to our hospital campus every eight weeks and donors may sign-up ahead of time with Errand Solutions by calling 459-7071. Employees with access to the Forum can sign-up online by visiting Errand Solutions’ intranet page. Signing up ahead of time will secure an appointment time. You should allow yourself 30 minutes and up to an hour for the full donation process if you are a new donor. New donors can help speed up the process by reading the New Donor Information and Eligibility sheet and completing the New Donor form ahead of time.
If you’ve always wanted to donate blood but are unsure of the process or have hesitations, please understand why donating blood matters and what is expected:
It matters because you will help patients – our patients and people in our community. Your one pint of donated blood could save up to three lives. Community Regional needs to keep a safe and adequate blood supply available for everyone to use – children, premature babies, cancer patients, patients undergoing surgery, accident victims, and on some unexpected day, that someone needing blood could be you. That someone could also be from your own neighborhood, a co-worker, friend or family member.
So the question really is: Why not?
1. Register: A photo ID (a driver’s license or employee badge works) and Social Security Number are required to register, and then you’ll be asked to verify your name and address.
2. Mini-Physical and Interview: The mini-physical consists of checking your pulse, blood pressure, temperature and iron level. In the confidential interview, a trained interviewer will ask questions about your general health and medical history, as well as questions concerning risk behaviors, foreign travel and other subjects.
Your mini-physical and interview are conducted to ensure that giving blood is healthy for you and that your blood is as safe as possible for the recipient(s). All information gathered during the physical and interview is kept strictly confidential.
3. Blood Donation: The collection of a unit, about one pint of blood, takes about 15 minutes. You may feel a small pinch when the needle is inserted, but most donors do not feel any pain for the duration of the donation. Once a unit has been collected, additional small tubes of blood will be collected for laboratory tests. All blood collection equipment is sterile and used only once.
4. Relax: After your donation, you can enjoy some refreshments to help replenish your fluids. At this time, you have the option of scheduling your next donation appointment. After you’re done with relaxing and refreshments, you can resume your normal daily activities.
If this looks simple enough for you, I give you a thumb up – and two thumbs up if you don’t delay signing up. Please call 459-7071 to make that appointment or sign up online today! There’s currently over 30 spots to fill and your blood really does matter. All donors receive a coffee mug and an entry into a drawing for a great prize.Shannon Merritt,