Need for blood remains great

The Businesses Out for Blood Drive at Eastern Gateway Community College and the 27th-annual Ohio Valley Media Blood Drive held earlier this week in Wheeling were successful, but we’ve been reminded that the area’s blood supply remains low.

The Greater Allegheny Blood Region, which serves our area and local hospitals, typically sees a lower blood supply this time of the year, when frigid temperatures and snow flying mean less donors. So we’re asking Tri-State Area residents who can to give the gift of life and donate blood.

January is National Blood Donor Month, and there’s still time to donate blood during this celebration. Blood drives are planned at the following sites: Indian Creek High School in Wintersville, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday; Franciscan University of Steubenville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday; and New Manchester Elementary School in Hancock County, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jan. 31.

Other upcoming drives include one at the American Red Cross Jefferson County Chapter, 81 Talbott Drive, Wintersville, from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 4; Franciscan University of Steubenville’s St. Joseph Center, noon to 6 p.m., Feb. 5 and 18; Toronto High School, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 15; and Buckeye North Elementary School, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Feb. 15.

Statistics show as much as 60 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, yet as little as 5 percent actually donates. And every two seconds, someone in America needs blood.

We also must remember that blood is needed for other reasons than emergency situations. Cancer, transplant and open-heart surgery patients need blood every day. It’s important to keep in mind that blood donors are needed on a regular basis, not only in the hours, days and weeks following a tragedy.

So many times friends and family of someone in need of surgery donate blood during that particular crisis.

It’s very much appreciated, but blood of all types is needed every day in every community.

Donating blood is painless and can be done in about one hour, according to officials. Donors only need to be age 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.

We’re asking eligible area residents to become more responsible blood donors, as the need for blood knows no particular season.