‘Gift of life’ important all year long

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 26, 2010

Americans take many things for granted but perhaps nothing is as overlooked as the importance of donating blood.

Often called “the gift of life,” donating blood is vital to help other citizens. Many of us take for granted that, in the case of an emergency, that blood will be available.

However, officials with the American Red Cross’ local branch — the Greater Alleghenies Region Blood Services — say that this time of year supplies are often at very critical levels.

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The lack of donors, bad weather cancellations and low turnout lead to scare supplies when patients are in need.

The Red Cross has already had hundreds of potential donors cancel their appointments because of the cold and snowy conditions across Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Statistics show that someone needs a blood transfusion every 2 seconds. Even if the most minimal amount of blood is needed this creates a constant shortage.

All blood types are needed but type negative is typically in very high demand because of how common it is.

In addition to the opportunity to visit the Huntington, W.Va., offices at any time, Lawrence Countians will have two close-to-home opportunities in Ironton next week.

• Monday, from 2-7 p.m. – Knights of Columbus, 2101 S. Third St.

• Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – First Baptist Church-Faith & Fitness Center, 400 Vernon St., Ironton.

Donating blood is an important gift all year long but that giving spirit can start now as a belated Christmas gift.