December 2, 2013 | by Denise Heady
The second in a series about how to give, and give back, during the holiday season ...
This time of year brings holiday cheer to many people across the nation, but for hospitals and blood donor centers, such as City of Hope’s Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center, it’s the start of a tough season.
Not only do people take breaks from school and work during the holidays, many also take a break from donating blood and platelets to hospitals. Blood and platelets donations are needed year-round, said Kasie Uyeno, City of Hope’s blood donor recruitment manager, but they’re especially critical during the holiday season.
“The need for blood does not take a holiday,” Uyeno said. “It’s always there.”
Patients at City of Hope rely on more than 37,000 units of blood and platelets each year for their survival.
Currently, the Amini Center brings in about 22,300 units of blood and platelets yearly— which is not nearly enough to meet the hospital’s needs.
“The need is always higher than what we have,” Uyeno said.
During the months of November and December, the need is even higher because during those months, blood and platelet donations drop around 25 percent, she said.
Last year in the U.S., more than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer. Many of them will need blood — sometimes daily — during their chemotherapy treatment. To treat those patients, more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
City of Hope isn’t the only organization that sees a drop in blood and platelet donations during the holidays. The American Red Cross said its blood donations dramatically decline during the holiday season.
So if you’re looking to give back this holiday season, consider taking an hour or so to donate blood and help save a life.
Or, help save three lives. Platelets, the clotting components found in blood, are crucial to cancer patients being treated with a bone marrow transplant. One platelet donation can contain enough platelets for three therapeutic doses.
That's a lifesaving gift.
For the month of December, City of Hope’s transfusion center is holding weekly raffles to encourage donations. It hopes to get 800 units of blood and 560 units of platelets (that’s equal to 400 people donating blood and approximately 190 people donating platelets).
To schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets at City of Hope’s Amini Center, go to: www.idonateblood4hope.org or call 626-471-7171.
If you have additional questions or would like to receive more information, email at [email protected].
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