The Red Cross hopes to bolster the supply at local blood banks in case a major disaster like a tornado strikes in our area.
While all types of blood are needed, persons with type O negative blood are especially encouraged to donate, because that blood type can be accepted by anyone who needs a blood transfusion.
Unique to this event is that both platelet and plasma donations will be available, a service typically offered at select donation sites.
Platelets are essential to clotting blood and are useful for people undergoing cancer and organ transplant treatment. During platelet donation, blood is drawn from the arm, but is returned to the body after the platelets have been filtered out utilizing an apheresis machine. According to the American Red Cross, a platelet donation does take more time at 1½ to 2½ hours, but replaces and counts the same as about four to six whole blood donations.
Plasma is collected simultaneously with a platelet donation. Blood plasma can be used to help people with weakened immune systems fight off infections and can be used to treat blood clotting disorders like hemophilia. People with type AB blood are considered universal donors, and are encouraged to make this donation.
In addition to giving the gift of life, you receive a few benefits. As part of the process, each donor will receive a mini physical to check pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and hemoglobin levels. While this is done to insure that you are a suitable candidate for giving blood, it also gives you peace of mind between regular medical checkups or can give you an early warning about unknown issues.
To be properly prepared:
- Have a light meal and plenty to drink.
- Bring your donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification.
- Bring the names of medications you are taking.
Canton City Hall is located at 151 Elizabeth Street in downtown Canton.
To learn more about donating blood, please visit the American Red Cross website at www.redcrossblood.org
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