Donate and save — Giving blood is easier than ever

By Haywood Regional Medical Center | Jan 09, 2017
Photo by: HRMC Marketing

CLYDE — Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. And seasonal obstacles like busy holiday schedules, blood drives canceled due to inclement winter weather, and illnesses like the flu sidelining potential donors can hamper efforts to maintain a healthy blood supply.

That’s why, since 1970, January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month — a month dedicated to shining a spotlight on the generosity of those who give their blood to save the lives of others, while also raising awareness of the continued need for donations.

“Donating blood is one of the easiest and most effective ways that you can have a personal and direct impact on the health of our community,” said Mark Kinter, MD, Midway Medical Center. “Most people don’t realize that a one-time donation can save the lives of up to three people. That’s significant.”

Haywood Regional Medical Center partners with the local Red Cross chapter to host local blood drives. There are several events scheduled in January:

  • Jan. 11: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Senior Resource Center, 81 Elmwood Way, Waynesville
  • Jan. 16: 2 to 7 p.m. Longs Chapel Church, 175 Old Clyde Road, Waynesville
  • Jan. 19: 1 to 5:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 566 S. Haywood St., Waynesville
  • Feb. 1: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center, 75 Leroy George Road, Clyde
  • Feb. 4: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crestview Baptist Church, 3258 Pisgah Drive, Canton

To donate, individuals must be at least 17-years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.

Donating is an easy, four-step process that includes registration, medical history and a mini-physical, the actual donation process and a post-donation refreshment.

The brief mini-physical checks temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure safety of the donor’s blood. The actual blood donation usually takes less than 12 minutes.

RapidPass

Donors can now save time and make the donation process even easier with RapidPass, a new service from the American Red Cross that lets you begin the donation process at home by visiting www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

After completing the pre-donation education and a health history survey online, potential donors can print out their pass or show it on their mobile device at their appointment. While RapidPass does not take the place of scheduling your appointment, it can save a significant amount of time at the donation site.

“Despite efforts to raise awareness and make donating blood easier and more convenient, less than 10 percent of the eligible population actually donate blood,” said Kinter. “So as you plan out your resolutions for the coming year, consider making a little room in your January schedule for a blood donation. There’s no better way to kick off 2017 than by helping to save lives.”

If you are interested in giving blood, contact 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are welcome and don’t forget to complete the RapidPass process before your appointment to save time while you save lives.

Know Before You Go

  • Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
  • Donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components (red cells, plasma or platelets).
  • Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.

Information provided by the American Red Cross

Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Hospital, is located in Haywood County and offers a comprehensive array of services, including orthopedics, spine services, cardiology, general surgery, women's care, emergency medicine, behavioral health, and includes 12 multi-specialty physician clinics. The campus, located in Clyde, is also home to the 54,000 square foot Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center, the 44,000 square foot Haywood Regional Outpatient Care Center (includes the outpatient surgery center, laboratory, imaging center including women's imaging and physician practices) and nearby, The Homestead, an inpatient hospice facility. Haywood Regional Medical Center also operates two urgent care centers in the county, in Waynesville and Canton.