The American Red Cross encourages eligible blood donors to donate blood this spring to ensure a sufficient supply for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.
Donated blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished to keep up with hospital patient need. Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently transfused by hospitals and must be used within 42 days of donation.
Eligible donors can give red blood cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a double red cell donation, where available. During a double red cell donation, two units of red blood cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor. Double red cell donors must meet additional eligibility criteria, which will be determined at the donation appointment.
Debbie Cody-Nabors is a blood donor who gives double red cells. Her mother received transfusions twice a week during treatment for aplastic anemia.“I donate blood as often as I can in memory of my mom,” she said. “Please donate blood if you can to help save lives as you never know when you’ll be on the receiving end.”
Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O, A negative and B negative. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and double red cells may be donated every 112 days, up to three times per year. Blood donation sites in Shiawassee County include: Perry on Thursday, April 28 at Perry Baptist Church, 217 S. Main St., in Perry from noon to 5:45 p.m.; Byron High School on Friday, April 29 from 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at 312 W. Maple Ave., in Byron.
To make an appointment to give blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).