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“We have to be prepared”

“We have to be prepared”

It’s never too early to think about the holiday season – especially when it comes to blood donations.

JPS Health Network on Monday, October 14 will hold a blood drive with an eye on the rapidly-approaching winter holidays.

“This is a time of year when we’re trying to plan ahead,” said Alison Kelly, Transfusion Safety Program Coordinator at JPS. “During the holidays, people will be traveling, so giving blood isn’t going to be on their mind. Donors might not be available at a time when demand is at its peak. So, we have to be prepared for things like that.”

Unfortunately, New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest days of the year for motor vehicle accidents, according to Kelly.

The blood supply by the numbers, according to the American Red Cross:

  • 2: The number of seconds that pass before someone in the U.S. needs blood
  • 3: The number of lives that can be saved with one donation
  • 7: The percentage of people in the U.S. who are Type O Negative, blood that can be used in patients of any blood type
  • 38: The percentage of the U.S. population eligible to donate blood
  • 100: The pints of blood a car accident victim may require to save their life
  • 36,000:  The number of units of red blood cells needed every day in the U.S.

I cannot think of a better gift we can give someone than the gift of life.

Kami Ludwig of Carter Blood Care said, despite all the medical advancements that have been achieved over the years, there is still no substitute for donated blood.

“As the holiday season approaches, I cannot help but think of a better gift we can give to give someone than the gift of life,” Ludwig said. “It takes 1,100 units of blood every single day to sustain just the need within the DFW area. That’s 1,100 people who only have to take about 30-40 minutes of their time to literally give another human a chance at life. Yet in this area only about 3 percent of the population actually donates.”

There was a nationwide shortage of blood over the summer months, according to Kelly. But because of the sacrifice of local donors and the diligence of the people who collect and distribute blood, JPS patients were able to get the care they needed, from emergency trauma treatment to scheduled surgical procedures. She said she is hopeful JPS team members and the community will continue to support local blood drives to make sure supplies are on hand when people need them the most.

The Monday blood drive will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Monday on the third floor of the OPC Building at JPS Health Network, 1500 S. Main St. in Fort Worth. The auditorium is located near the red elevators. Click here to reserve your donation time or call (817) 702-3502 for more information.