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Need for blood doesn’t take a summer vacation, increased as people are more active

Top four list: Reasons to make donating blood part of your summer plans

While summer is a time many enjoy vacations, cookouts and gatherings with friends and family, it is also a time hospitals need more blood donations as people tend to get too busy to think about donating blood.

Someone needs blood or a blood product every two seconds in the United States, according to America’s Blood Centers (ABC). About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood for a variety of reasons. Blood transfusions can be necessary for serious injuries, surgeries, childbirth, blood disorders, anemia and many other conditions and situations. Plasma donations can be vital for patients with liver failure, severe infections and serious burns.

Blood donations are needed year-round for these reasons. But during the summer months, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is encouraging the public to make a concerted effort to give blood at a local blood drive.

“Everyone over the age of 16 has the opportunity to save a life by donating blood. The blood donation typically takes eight to ten minutes to complete. There is a nationwide critical need for blood products. Every donation is important because blood cannot be manufactured,” said Justin Cox, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital laboratory director.

Four reasons for donating blood in the summer:

  1. Your donation can save a life, or several lives if your blood is separated into its components – red cells, platelets and plasma. In fact, one pint of blood can save up to three lives.
  2. As people are more active in the summer months, there are more motor vehicle and boating accidents and trauma, increasing the need for blood. At the same time, appointments to donate blood typically drop during the summer as people are traveling and schools are closed for the summer (many blood drives are held at schools).
  3. Before donating you receive a small health check-up (not to replace regular exams with your provider) that includes a check of your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and iron levels; Also, once your blood is collected and sent to a lab, further testing is done to check for infectious diseases and you are notified immediately if there are concerns.
  4. It is an easier process to donate when you are most commonly wearing a short-sleeve shirt in the summer, versus having to roll up a long sleeve during colder months.

For more information about how to save and improve the quality of life for those in need of blood and plasma, visit the ImpactLife website at www.bloodcenter.org, which is the organization that supplies HSHS Illinois hospitals with blood and blood products.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital regularly hosts blood drives with ImpactLife on a regular basis. Future drive dates for 2022 are August 9 and October 11. To make an appointment at the next area blood drive, visit ImpactLife – Donor Portal (bloodcenter.org) or call 800-747-5401.

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