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"2 For You" Seeks Additional Blood Donations


  With summer coming up, a notoriously slow time of the year for blood centers, the firm OneBlood is asking donors to double up.

Summer is one of the periods each year, when blood donations drop to very low levels. That’s when school is out and families are on the road for vacation. Betty Roberts at OneBlood’s Pensacola office says that’s where the “2 From You” promotion comes in.

“We can make it through the summer, and make sure all of our hospitals and patients are served, if we get two donations between May first and August 31st,” Roberts said. “And that could be platelets, that could be whole blood, which is the regular pint, or it could be a double red cell donation.”

The idea is to have donors pony up one more time per year, which Roberts says would prevent a critical blood shortage in the Pensacola area. For example, you can give a regular donation of whole blood every 56 days – both visits would fall within the program’s time frame.

“Platelet donors can come into our centers, and they can donate every two weeks, and all we need would be two donations,” said Roberts. “A plasma donor can donate every four weeks and again, we need two donations from them.  

Those making double red-cell donations can do so every 112 days – only once under the “2 From You” timeline.   

People with blood types A-plus, B-plus, AB-plus, AB negative, and O-plus are perfect candidates for platelet donation. Roberts says people with O-negative, B-negative and A-negative blood are encouraged to donate whole blood or double red blood cells. 

More vehicles on the road during the spring and summer means more traffic accidents and more injuries. Roberts says that forces blood centers this time of year to deal with a not-so-perfect storm of increased demand and decreased supply.

“An automobile accident victim, the stats on that could be anywhere from five to 100 units of blood that they might need in the emergency room,” Roberts said. “They’re going to need O-negative, which is the universal blood type, and they may need a lot.”

Besides treating accident victims and surgical patients, OneBlood’s Betty Roberts says donors can also join the fight against breast cancer. Blood and platelets are used to replenish the body, which counters the harsh effects of chemotherapy and other treatments.

Those eligible to give blood are people age 16 and older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health. More information about becoming a blood donor – and the “2 From You” program can be found at www.oneblood.org.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.