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Blood donations key to National Preparedness Month

 

The American Red Cross is among a coalition of organizations encouraging Americans to observe the Eighth Annual National Preparedness Month this September by doing simple things that make a difference when every second counts.

An upcoming blood drive in LaGrange County is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Auxiliary gymnasium at Lakeland High School, located at 805E 075N in LaGrange. 

The Red Cross recommends three things most everyone can do to prepare for disasters or other emergencies: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed.

“The beauty is, those steps can be taken in advance, helping most everyone to be prepared,” said Tracy Duncan, communications manager for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.

Supporting blood donation or giving blood is also critical to any community preparedness plan since hospitals need blood on the shelves to respond to patient need. Hospital patients need about 40,000 blood donations each day for ongoing or emergency medical needs. And when adequate supplies of blood are available every day of every week, the Red Cross can help ensure a swift response when and if blood needs intensify.

Blood is typically available to patients 24 to 48 hours from the point of donation because of the various steps involved in testing, processing, and distributing components like red cells, platelets and plasma. While many people roll up their sleeves during times of disaster, the key to a strong blood supply, Red Cross officials say, are steady and consistent donations throughout the year.

“It’s human nature to want to help when disasters strike,” Duncan stated. “By taking some precautionary steps today – like donating blood – you’ll be helping, too, since you’re empowering yourself and our nation to face the unexpected.”

For more information on being Red Cross Ready and for preparedness fast facts, visit the website at redcross.org.