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Annual Blood Drive at St. Luke Parish
By Sharon Mochel

One Pint of Blood Can Save Up To 3 Lives

This year St. Luke's Blood Drive will be held on Sunday, July 30th, from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. I would like to thank all of you who have donated in the past and plan to donate again this year. This is such a worthwhile event; many lives are helped through this generous gift. I do understand those who cannot give blood though, as I am one of them. I think that is why I chose to do this ministry.

Our church has worked with Heartland Blood Center the last four years. In 2003 we exceeded our goal with 33 units of blood, in 2004 there were 48 units (due to the help of St. Mary's parish), 2005 there were 24 units collected, and this year our goal is set at 26 units. It is difficult to imagine where the blood actually goes, so I would like to share a little information with you:

A whole blood donation has three components: Red Blood Cells are used in most transfusions today and can be stored for only 42 days. The main function of Platelets is to help blood clot. This is used for many cancer patients. It can be stored for only 5 days. Plasma helps maintain blood pressure and carries blood cells, nutrients, enzymes and hormones, and supplies critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity.

Who benefits from blood donations? Several patients are in need of blood products, from a newborn, to a teen battling cancer, to a trauma victim. A cancer patient can use up to 8 units/month, bone marrow transplant patients up to 2 units/day, liver transplants require up to 100 units, cardiovascular surgery 2-25 units.

Blood Facts:

- 4.5 million American lives are saved each year by blood transfusions.

- 38,000 pints of donated blood are used each day in the United States.

- someone needs blood every two seconds.

- 60 percent of the population in the United States are eligible to donate blood, but only 5 percent do.

Donor qualifications:

- Any person 17 years or older can donate blood.

- Those that are 16 years old can donate blood if written permission is given by their parent or guardian.

- A person must weigh more than 110 lbs.

- There must be 8 weeks between blood donations.

- Allergy-acceptable if no acute symptoms on the day of donation.

- Antibiotics are acceptable after the last dose.

- Asthma is acceptable if under control.

- Diabetes is acceptable if controlled by diet or oral drugs.

- Cancer (malignancy) is acceptable if symptom free, pronounced cured after 5 years and in good health.

- A cold or flu disqualifies a donor.

- Dental surgery is acceptable after 72 hours.

- Hepatitis after the age of 10 disqualifies a donor. Sharing the same household with a person suffering from hepatitis, there is a 12 month waiting period.

- Heart Disease- a history of heart attack, severe coronary artery disease or heart surgery disqualifies a donor.

- High Blood Pressure-may donate provided blood pressure is within normal range at the time of donation.

- Surgery, Blood Transfusion, Tissue Transplant-there is a 12 month waiting period. Dura mater or corneal transplant-permanent deferral.

- Travel outside of U.S. or Canada needs to check with staff due to various diseases.

- Medications-bring list of medications taken and refer to Heartland staff. Medications for high cholesterol, blood pressure and allergies, replacement hormones and most anti-inflammatory drugs are accepted.

- Pregnancy-Six week waiting period after delivery.

Also, if you are donating blood you must:

- eat and drink before and after giving blood.

- show a photo I.D.

- drink more fluids than usual the next 4 hours after your donation.

- refrain from smoking one half hour following blood donation.

-refrain from excessive bending, pushing or lifting as it may result in a bruise.

If you are not able to donate, please encourage friends and family members to participate in our blood drive. Call Heartland Blood Center at 708-342-9771 or Sharon Mochel at 630-308-0464 to schedule an appointment.

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