Paris, TN – If you were in an emergency situation requiring a blood transfusion, you would expect the hospital to have the blood you need. But where does that blood come from?
Most people don’t realize that blood is needed every single day in West Tennessee. In fact, in an emergency situation, hospitals must have blood available that is ready to be transfused. It takes around three days after a donation for blood to be completely processed.
LIFELINE Blood Services is the sole provider of blood and blood products to Henry County Medical Center as well as 17 additional hospitals throughout West Tennessee. That’s why it is so important to donate blood whenever you are eligible. Patients rely on blood transfusions everyday. But blood transfusions are not just for emergencies; they are often needed for knee and/or hip replacement surgeries, open heart surgeries, cancer treatments, premature births and a variety of other medical procedures.
LIFELINE Blood Services will be hosting a blood drive at Henry County Medical Center this Wednesday, August 29 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the HCMC Cafeteria. Everyone is encouraged to come out and participate. Blood supplies are at a critical low and with the Labor Day Holiday approaching, supplies are even more critically needed.
Who can donate?
If you are 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds, and are feeling generally healthy, you can probably donate blood. The LIFELINE staff will ask you some questions regarding your medical history to make sure you meet the guidelines. These answers will be kept completely confidential.
What to expect on the day of your donation?
First, you will be asked to present a valid ID. Then you will be asked to read the information sheet regarding blood donation and to be registered which includes basic information such as name, address, etc.
Next, you’ll have a mini-physical which includes: blood pressure, iron level, pulse rate and temperature. Then you’ll be asked a variety of health history and travel questions.
If you meet all the guidelines, you are ready for the bloodmobile where the actual donation takes place. Your arm will be cleaned and a needle will be inserted into the crook of your arm to draw blood. This part usually takes around 10 minutes. When the one-pint bag is filled, the needle is removed and your arm will be bandaged. At this point, we ask that you sit in the canteen area of the bus and enjoy a soft drink or juice and a snack. It takes a few minutes for your body to adjust to the change in fluid levels, so we do ask that you give yourself this time before going to back to your normal activities.
What can I do to have the best possible experience?
- Our goal is for you to have a great experience. To do so, be sure that you are well-hydrated before the donation. Drink extra water if possible
- To avoid low iron you can eat iron-rich foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, beans, red meat, peanut butter and raisins.
- Get a good night’s rest the night before you donate. After your donation avoid heavy lifting for a few hours. Drink plenty of fluids for the day or two after your donation.
- Remember your body will re-manufacture the red blood cells in 56 days. Then you’ll be ready to donate again.
Blood donations save lives every day. Thank you for helping us make sure blood is available when patients need it!
For more information, call LIFELINE Blood Services at 1-800-924-6572 or visit www.lifelinebloodserv.org.
Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: http://www.hcmc-tn.org.