Blood Donor Day set for February 5 at First Baptist Church in Waukon; “Tackling” blood shortages

The next LifeServe Blood Center blood drive will be held Monday, February 5 from 12-5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in south Waukon.

The LifeServe Blood Center supplies Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) with blood and blood products. Here are some interesting blood facts:
• Every three seconds someone needs blood.
• Blood makes up about eight percent of a person’s body weight.
• Blood is needed every minute of every day; summer, winter, spring and fall.
• Scheduled surgeries are not canceled in Iowa because of a lack of blood, but it is a problem in other parts of the nation.
• Donating blood includes a health check for the donor (checking blood pressure, pulse, temperature and hemoglobin) prior to donating.
• There is absolutely no way one can contract any disease from giving blood.
• Blood can be split into different components (red cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate) and used to help different types of patients.

Regular blood donors may donate blood as often as every 56 days. First-time donors will find that donating blood is a safe and easy way to save lives and make a difference in the community. One single blood donation can save the lives of up to three sick or injured hospital patients.

The donation process is simple:
1. Eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids at least four hours prior to donating.
2. Bring proper identification, such as a donor card or a driver’s license.
3. Complete a health history questionnaire and screening interview.
4. Receive a brief health check by trained staff. This includes a check of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and blood iron levels.
5. Sit back while a unit of blood, approximately one pint, is collected. This process takes around 10 minutes.
6. Enjoy refreshments while relaxing for 10-15 minutes before leaving the facility.

The blood that is collected is tested carefully. In fact, all blood that is collected by any blood collection center is tested in the same manner, according to the federal regulations.

To help maintain Iowa’s blood supply, donate at the Waukon Community Blood Drive, Monday, February 5, at the First Baptist Church in south Waukon. Appointments are required. Blood drives are held the first Monday of each month in Waukon. To schedule an appointment, call the LifeServe Blood Center at 800-287-4903.