Blood drive challenge coming

DRIVE PLANNED — Making plans for Tuesday’s Sixth-Annual Corporate Challenge Blood Drive are Phyllis Riccadonna, account manager, American Red Cross Blood Services, left, and Tricia Maple-Damewood, president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. -- Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the American Red Cross once again are teaming up to ensure area blood donations keep up with demand.

The organizations are sponsoring Tuesday’s Sixth-Annual Corporate Challenge Blood Drive. The event, which is open to the general pubic, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the YWCA, 320 N. Fourth St. Chamber member businesses and their employees are challenged to donate blood, organizers explained.

They added the drive is especially important this time of year, when holiday schedules and bad weather can have a negative effect on donations.

Donors can call (800) RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointmen, and walk-ins will be welcome.

According to the Red Cross:

¯ More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

¯ The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.

¯ More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

¯ A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

¯ Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually does each year.

¯ lood cannot be manufactured — it can only come from donors.

¯ Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.

¯ Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.

¯ Blood donation is a simple four-step process: Registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.

¯ The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10 to 12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 min.

¯ The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his or her body. Roughly one pint is given during a donation.

¯ A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days.

¯ All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.

¯ One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.

¯ If a person began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, he or she would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives.

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