In an effort to help provide an adequate and safe blood supply in our area, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Social Services hosts a bimonthly blood drive through the Northern California Community Blood Bank (NCCBB). Nineteen staff members at Social Services have donated at least one gallon of blood and were recently acknowledged for their generosity.
People give blood for a variety of reasons. America’s Blood Centers’ officials say each pint of blood can be used to help save the lives of three people. The average adult has about 10 pints of blood - about one pint is given during a typical donation.
“I couldn’t wait to turn 17 so that I would be old enough to donate blood,” said DHHS employee Janelle Swan-Robinson. “My mother always donated and would say to me ‘You send good things into the world and they might just come back someday.’”
Another employee says he gives because there are a lot of people who can’t. To be eligible to donate, among other things, a donor must be healthy, at least 17 years old and can’t be pregnant. There are restrictions for potential donors who may have been exposed to HIV/AIDS, traveled to certain countries or have received an organ transplant in the past year. For a complete list, visit www.americasblood.org.
NCCBB officials say a recent study shows the number of eligible donors is much less than original estimates. Instead of 60,000 eligible donors in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, it’s projected there are fewer than 20,000 residents able to give blood.
”NCCBB continues to have donors willing to give at nearly three times the national average,” said Tom Schallert, NCCBB administrator. “We are very proud of our donors and community for being so willing to save lives.”
Blood bank officials say donating blood is safe. The process includes a medical history, a mini-physical, the donation and refreshments. The entire visit takes about an hour, but the actual donation takes about 10 minutes.
All information is confidential.
Those who need blood may include cancer patients, trauma victims or someone who lost blood during surgery. According to America’s Blood Centers, four and a half million Americans need blood each year.
The blood mobile makes regular stops at businesses, events and government offices between Garberville and Crescent City. For a complete schedule, go to www.nccbb.org and click on Mobile Schedule.
Social Services staff pictured from left to right: Scott Pitcairn, Janelle Swan Robinson, Jeanna Doty, Katie Seltzer, Shannon Person, Marleen Hall, Vonnie Fierro, Lydia Thrash, Michelle Buckman, Jim Pfingstel, Tami Bishop and blood bank employee Dee Vallee as “Buddy the Blood Drop.” Eight other blood donor “stars” are not pictured.