|January 30, 2012|
SPRINGFIELD Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations, and a reduction in turnout can put the nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.
Baystate Medical Center is joining hundreds of blood centers across the country in encouraging the public to become regular blood donors beginning this January as a tie-in to National Blood Donor Month.
Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. At least 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to help accident and burn victims, cancer patients, those having surgery, new mothers, premature babies and many others needing treatment in hospitals and emergency departments across the country. However, only three out of every 100 people in America actually donate blood each year.
“By donating blood you will become a hero to someone by making sure there is blood on our shelves when a patient desperately needs it. With just one donation and blood is something that most people can spare you could help save more than one life,” Dr. Chester Andrzejewski, medical director of Transfusion Medicine Services at Baystate Medical Center, said.
An average blood donation takes less than 10 to 12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes less than an hour. Donors must be at least age 17, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. New donors will be asked to provide a photo ID.
In addition to donating blood, there is always a need for new platelet donors.
Platelets are important in the control of bleeding and are generally used in patients with leukemia and other forms of cancer, open heart surgery patients, transplant patients, and some trauma patients. Since they must be used within five days, maintaining an adequate supply is always a challenge.
Baystate’s Blood Donor Center now has new, state-of-the-art plateletpheresis machines called Trimas that are faster, provide a better end product, and use only one needle.
The Blood Donor Center at Baystate Medical Center is located in the hospital’s Daly Building at 759 Chestnut St. Hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m.
Appointments and information are available by calling 794-4600.
The public can also participate in one of the many blood drives during January sponsored by Baystate Medical Center’s Blood Donor Center and receive a $10 gas card and car wash from F.L. Roberts. Baystate’s Blood Donor Mobile will be at the following location: Big E’s Supermarket, 11 Union St., Easthampton, on Jan. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To book an appointment at one of the blood drives, call 794-4600. Walk-ins are also welcome.
All of the blood collected stays in the local community, including at all Baystate Health facilities, Shriners Hospital, and local dialysis centers.
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