The American Red Cross conducted a blood drive at the DOC Training Academy in Elizabethtown on Sept. 3. The drive was part of the Red Cross' "Power Red" campaign to increase the donation of much-needed red blood cells.
Throughout the afternoon, Training Academy staff and Basic Training Class #1906 students combined to donate 21 pints of blood. The Red Cross points out that one pint can save three lives. The Training Academy may have donated enough blood to save 63 lives.
Power Red donations is a process that increases the amount of red blood cells given during one donation session. A machine separates and collects two units of red cells, then safely returns the remaining blood components back into the donor's arm. This process takes about an hour and a half, which increases the importance of finding donors who can devote the time to give blood. However, two units of red cells can be safely donated during one donation.
In particular, red cells are given to trauma patients, newborns, those needing emergency transfusions, people with sickle cell anemia and anyone suffering blood loss. O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative are the ideal blood types for this process.
Whole blood donations were also given, which includes all the blood components—including white cells and platelets suspended in plasma—not only red cells.
Staff and students were generous with their time and blood to make a difference. If you're interested in donating blood, contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit RedCrossBlood.org.