Summer Draw: Blood drives need our help

Donating blood is a time-honored tradition that is nonetheless a new experience for many people who are eligible to give.

Summer is a high-need time for donations, making mid-July a good time to review the why and how of giving blood.

For veteran or new donors, the American Red Cross issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give because many fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July.

June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year. Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer.

Volunteer donations help many patients, including premature babies, cancer and surgery patients, and accident victims receive important blood transfusions. Since whole blood is separated and transfused as components, one blood donation can help save as many as three lives.

This month the American Red Cross is holding several blood drives in the Mid-Columbia area. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment by visiting redcrossblood.org or calling one of the following numbers to sign up for a specific drive location:

Blood drives are planned in The Dalles, July 16 (Calvary Baptist Church, 12:30 to 6 p.m.) and July 17 in Hood River, at Best Western Hood River Inn, 1 to 6 p.m. To schedule an appointment contact Margo Parker at 541-387-3669 or online at www.redcrossblood.org.

Blood donors must be at least 16 years old in Oregon and Washington (16-year-olds require a signed Red Cross parental consent form). Blood donors must also weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply for all high school students and donors 18 years old and younger.

Lastly, donors must be healthy, meaning you feel well and can perform normal activities. (If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.)

For more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS or go online to www.redcrossblood.org.

If you’re able, and feel up to it, there is no better time to roll up your sleeves for the American Red Cross.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



Log in to comment

Columbia Gorge news and businesses