Thursday, July 23, 2009

Levindale Blood Drive Saves Lives

If you could save the life of someone in a serious car accident, would you do it? How about helping someone who has cancer, anemia or who needs surgery? Even without a medical degree, many of us have the power, by giving blood.

“One blood donor can save at least three lives,” says Mary Ellen “Mel” Lindenmuth, RNC, BS, CDON and blood drive coordinator at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital. “Plasma, platelets and red blood cells can be used from each pint of whole blood.”

Levindale held its bi-annual drive on July 14 in the Schwaber Multi-Purpose Room. The Red Cross accepted 28 of the pints of blood donated. Continues Mel, “What was particularly gratifying was that we had six new donors. One of those donors was the family member of a resident, who herself, was over 65. She actually won a door prize.”

The whole process of registering and donating takes an hour, but giving blood only takes about ten minutes. The Red Cross puts safety first. Before donating, people have mini-health screenings to prevent risks to themselves and to the blood supply. Once accepted, every unit is disease-tested multiple times before it is used.

All blood types are needed, but most in demand are types O and B. “It’s important to give all year because some blood products expire quickly,” explains Mel.

Everyone who rolled up his or her sleeves and gave the gift of life received a T-shirt and other gifts to show the appreciation of Levindale and the Red Cross. One of the best parts, cookies and juice afterwards while donors relaxed.

The next blood drives at LifeBridge Health are at Sinai Hospital on Tuesday, August 4 and Wednesday, August 5, and at Northwest Hospital on Tuesday, August 4.

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