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Red Cross and law enforcement training agency team up to boost holiday blood supply

Greater Ozarks-Arkansas

December 4, 2013
 

CAMDEN, Ark. — First responders, like those in law enforcement, are trained to be prepared in an emergency situation. They are ready to respond when the calls come in. On Dec. 17, the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA) and Southern Arkansas University Tech are answering the call to help meet the need for blood donations by hosting an American Red Cross community blood drive.

Historically, the Red Cross sees a dip in blood donations during the winter months. Holiday travel schedules, seasonal illnesses and inclement weather can lead donors to forego giving blood. The need for blood is constant, but the supply isn’t. Patients who need blood don’t get a holiday break. So, the Red Cross relies on donors to continue to give donations.

“The reason we want to encourage people to come to this blood drive and give is simple. As part of the law enforcement community, one of our duties is helping people. Hosting a blood drive is a very simple but highly effective way of helping those in a time of need,” said Tony Rinehart, ALETA grants and special projects coordinator.

Blood on the shelf today is what helps save lives. It takes about three days for a blood donation to be processed and tested before it can enter the blood supply. With snow and ice on the roadways becoming more likely as the winter wears on, there’s a greater risk for automobile accidents and other injuries. One person injured in a car crash can require up to 100 pints of blood.

“The Red Cross must collect an average of 15,000 pints of blood a day to meet patient needs. On a normal day, someone needs blood in the U.S. every two seconds,” said Marci Manley, spokesperson for the Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region. “But aside from those everyday patient needs, the blood supply should be stocked and ready in cases of emergencies.”

ALETA and SAU Tech community blood drive:

Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, 6373 Hussey Road, East Camden, Ark.

The Arkansas Chapter of the Red Cross will also hand out winter and holiday cooking safety sheets to those who present to donate blood. All blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative, B negative and AB positive and negative.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossBldGOA.