Blood Donations Help Cancer Patients And Many Others

A legislative Column by Assemblyman Will Barclay
I am teaming up with the American Red Cross and the Rural Health Network of Oswego County to host a blood drive on May 1 in Oswego.

The blood drive will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oswego Elks Lodge, 132 W. Fifth St.

If you are able to donate, please call my office at 315-598-5185 to make an appointment. We are encouraging everyone who is able to donate.  You never know whose life you can help save.

In anticipation of our upcoming blood drive, I want to share some facts about blood donation.

Most commonly we think of blood donations being used to assist those who are victims of severe trauma and rightfully so.

For example, up to 100 pints may be needed for a single car accident victim.

Blood donations, however, are also used by patients suffering from other infirmities such as cancer.

Donated blood is needed for leukemia patients who are often required to undergo numerous blood transfusions during their treatment.

Locally, our community has stepped up in honor of those who are bravely fighting cancer which requires multiple blood and platelet transfusions.

With more than 1 million new people diagnosed with cancer each year, much more blood is needed.

The Red Cross estimates it needs to collect about 15,000 pints of blood each day to meet patients’ needs at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide.

In addition to cancer treatment, transfusions are also needed for premature babies, liver transplants, and bone marrow recipients.

Blood donations tend to be lower during flu and cold season.

The Red Cross hopes with the onset of spring, more donors will consider coming out to an upcoming drive.

Blood type O is most often requested by hospitals.

Type O negative blood is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients of all blood types.

An estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, however, only less than 10% actually roll up a sleeve to give the gift of life.

The need for blood is constant and it’s important for everyone to know that blood and platelets have a shelf life.

Red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection and platelets have a shelf life of just 5 days.

After blood is collected, it is screened and undergoes multiple tests to ensure patient safety.

Blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office.

My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.