Blood drive scheduled Monday at The Meridian Star
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
A blood drive for United Blood Services of Mississippi is set for 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday at the 814 22nd Ave. office of The Meridian Star.
Bill Herring, director of community relations for United Blood Services, reports that his organization has a serious blood shortage.
United Blood Services of Mississippi provides more than 100,000 units of blood and blood components annually to patients in 76 hospitals in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
Medical advancements and modern surgical techniques such as cancer treatments, organ transplants and open-heart surgery have increased the need for blood.
Some of the most often needed blood components include red blood cells for surgery; platelets for leukemia and other cancer treatments; plasma to promote clotting; and cryoprecipitate for hemophilia patients.
Because of the separation of blood components, several patients may benefit from one donor.
Pizza coupons will be available for donors of Monday's blood drive.
Blood donation usually takes less than an hour. A brief interview is the first step, with questions about medical history and current health. The donor's temperature, blood pressure, pulse and blood iron level is then checked.
The actual donation process, during which a technician collects about a pint of blood, takes about 10 minutes. After a rest and light refreshment, the donor can go about his or her usual routine.
Blood donors must be between the ages of 17 and 79, weigh at least 110 pounds; they should not have donated blood in the past eight weeks. Anyone taking antibiotics or insulin cannot donate blood.
All donors must show identification.