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Blood donors needed in area

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Blood Connection will be holding a blood drive Thursday at Nash UNC Health Care and is offering $20 gift cards as a reward to participants, especially those with type O-negative blood, which is in high demand.

The blood drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium of Nash UNC Health Care. The auditorium can be reached through the main doors of the hospital. Participants can ask for directions at the desk or follow signs from the lobby to the auditorium.

A TBC Donor Card or a photo identification is required in order to donate blood. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds and be 17 years old or 16 years old with written parental consent.

Participants will each be given a thank-you gift of a $20 Chick-fil-A gift card or a $20 Walmart gift card. 

Aside from the benefit of receiving a gift card, participants can also receive the knowledge that they have helped contribute to the welfare of others in their community. Though all blood types are needed, there is an urgent need for O-negative blood as people with this blood type are universal donors.

O-negative donors ensure that blood is available for hospital patients whenever they need it. One donation, one simple decision to give, can save up to three lives, according to a press release from The Blood Connection.

“The need for O-negative blood never stops. It’s needed hour by hour to help a multitude of patients. That cannot be underestimated. Sharing life in this time of need is the perfect picture of neighbors selflessly helping neighbors,” the release said.

Delisa English, president and CEO of The Blood Connection, said an unexpected trauma can require 20 pints of blood or more. If there happens to be multiple traumas that require blood, the community supply could be dramatically reduced, English said.

“While every donation is vitally needed, O-negative can be received by all hospital patients whether they’re an O, A, B or AB blood type, and this is crucial in trauma situations,” English said. “It’s a non-stop critical need. One in seven people who visit a hospital need blood. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of eligible donors actually give. And national statistics show that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Those numbers speak for themselves.”

Cancer patients are usually the No. 1 recipients of blood products, but blood also is needed for burn victims, premature infants, car accident victims, heart surgery patients and organ transplant patients, to name a few. Since blood cannot be replicated, volunteer donors are the only source of blood products, the release said.

TBC is asking O-negative donors to step up and help their neighbors in central and eastern North Carolina communities. Although TBC is specifically requesting O-negative blood donations, all blood types are needed.

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