Thinking of Giving Blood? Find the Way That’s Right for You

By: American Red Cross Last Updated: August 2, 2012

RedCrossLogo“Maximize me” could be a new mantra for people giving the gift of life through the American Red Cross.

It’s human nature to want to make the most of things,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “At the American Red Cross, we want to help our blood donors maximize their donation by recommending donation options that best meet hospital and patient needs.

Whole blood donations typically yield three main components: red cells, platelets and plasma. Medical professionals may prescribe transfusions of particular blood components to treat specific patient needs. Patients experiencing chronic blood loss, surgeries, anemia or trauma may need red cells. Cancer patients frequently need platelets. Patients in shock, with serious burns, or with some blood or immune disorders may need plasma.

Blood type can play an important role in meeting patient demand for certain blood products. For instance, most patients can receive red cells from type O donors, while most patients can receive plasma from type AB donors.

Whole blood is rarely transfused as an individual unit,” said Whitman. “Collecting blood components based on blood type can be extremely helpful in meeting hospital demand.

Donors can give whole blood, double red cells, and platelets and plasma through particular donation procedures. Since type O and B red cells are in high demand, donors with those blood types may be asked to give double red cells. And since demand is high for type A and AB platelets and plasma, type A and AB donors may be asked to give these components.

Our goal is to find the donation procedure that’s the best fit for you and for hospital patients,” said Whitman. “The main point to remember is this: whatever your blood type and whatever way you chose to give, someone needs you.

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

  • Thursday, Aug. 16, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, located at 509 W. Division Road in Valparaiso.
  • Thursday, Aug. 16, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the American Legion in the Community Room, located at 4 E. Monroe St. in Valparaiso.
  • Thursday, Aug. 16, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at VFW Post 2511 in the Hall, located at 1290 Wagner Road in Porter.
  • Monday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in the Kitchen & Social Hall, located at 6540 Central Ave. in Portage.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. at The Gathering Place in the Meeting Room, located at 131 N. Main St. in Hebron.
  • Friday, Aug. 24, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Portage in the Fellowship Hall, located at 2637 McCool Road in Portage. Come to donate and receive a t-shirt.
  • Friday, Aug. 24, from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the YMCA of Portage, located at 3100 Willowcreek Road in Portage. Come to donate and receive a t-shirt. Please email egonzalez@comhs.org to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Monday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Valparaiso University at the Athletics-Recreation Center Hilltop Gymnasium, located at 1009 Union St. in Valparaiso.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Porter Starke Services, located at 701 Wall St. in Valparaiso. Please email hrsb@porterstarke.org to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 9:30 a.m. until noon at Purdue North Central, located at 600 Vale Park Road in Valparaiso.
  • Thursday, Aug. 30, from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Central Christian Church, located at 1808 Campbell St. in Valparaiso.
  • Thursday, Aug. 30, from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, located at 162 W. Lincolnway in Valparaiso.
  • Friday, Aug. 31, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Porter County Career Center in the Health Education Classrooms, located at 1005 N. Franklin St. in Valparaiso.
  • Friday, Aug. 31, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Culver’s, located at 2101 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard. Please call 531-9600 to schedule your blood donation appointment.

How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Indiana), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 60 hospitals. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.