To help save lives, residents rolled up their sleeves today at the Tommy Dulaney Center during a blood drive sponsored by United Blood Services. The organization held the event to offset summer blood shortages.
In the summertime, hospitals typically have a lower blood supply due to fewer blood donations.
“It’s hot outside. People are traveling. Kids are out of school. People are out of their routine,” said Mitzi Breaux, the organization’s marketing and communications director.
But she said blood usage always increases in the summer.
“People are outdoors. There’s a lot of water sports going on. There’s a lot of travel; people are on the roads. With all of that activity comes accidents. With accidents come blood usage. There’s also a lot of elective surgeries that happen in the summer time. People tend to take extended vacations, or teachers are out of school and such.”
A few residents shared why they chose to give blood.
“My mother died of cancer, and I know other people need blood in order to live,” said Sylvia Peterson.
“I’m a retired city fireman. I know it comes in good [hand] several times,” said Billy Williamson.
Breaux explained why donating blood is so important.
“The recent tragedy in Orlando is a perfect example of why blood donations are so important. The blood that saved lives that night was the blood that had been donated a couple of days before. It was on OneBlood’s shelves, which is the blood center in Orlando. It was ready to go out the door. That was the blood that saved lives that night.”
United Blood Services advises people to give blood at least 3 times a year. To donate blood, one must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in general good health.