An important resource for the care and treatment of serious burns is just an arm’s length away. And that, American Red Cross officials say, can be a motivator to roll up your sleeves during Burn Awareness Week from February 7 to 13.
“When you volunteer to donate whole blood, you’re actually giving three blood components, one of which is invaluable in the care of burn victims,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “That blood component is plasma.”
Plasma is the liquid yellow portion derived from a blood or platelet donation, and helps the body control bleeding and infection. Plasma from volunteer donors is used to directly treat victims of serious burns, accident or shock. A patient with severe burns may sometimes need up to eight units of plasma.
Specialized plasma products may also be transfused to patients with bleeding complications, classic hemophilia and clotting disorders. And just as red cells from a donor with Type O-negative blood can be transfused to most anyone, so can plasma from a donor with Type AB blood. Newborn babies needing plasma transfusions are given Type AB since an infant’s blood type is generally unknown at birth.
“Whatever your blood type, you have a valuable role to play in helping patients who need plasma,” said Whitman. “We’re extremely proud of our volunteer blood donors and their desire to help save the lives of fellow Americans by giving freely of themselves.”
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Monday, Feb. 1, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at the Eagles Lodge, located at 805 Elm St. in Valparaiso.
- Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, located at 202 W. Church St. in Hebron.
- Thursday, Feb. 4, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, located at 106 E. 1100 N. in Chesterton.
- Thursday, Feb. 4, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Central Christian Church, located at 1808 Campbell St. in Valparaiso. This blood drive is in honor of Danny Hershman.
- Friday, Feb. 5, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, located at 2637 McCool Road in Portage.
- Friday, Feb. 5, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Porter Hospital Valparaiso Campus, located at 814 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
- Saturday, Feb. 6, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Union Fire & Rescue, located at 267 N. 600 W. in Valparaiso. All presenting donors will receive a t-shirt.
- Monday, Feb. 8, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at South Haven Public Library, located at 403 West 700 North in Valparaiso.
- Saturday, Feb. 13, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Washington Evangelical Free Church, located at 3805 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
- Monday, Feb. 15, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church, located at 6540 Central Ave. in Portage.
- Monday, Feb. 15, from 3 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Valparaiso University School of Law, located at 656 Greenwich St. in Valparaiso. Please call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “vulaw” 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 some states), 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 more than 60 hospitals. In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.