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August 8, 2006 > Washington Hospital Hosts Blood Drive on August 14

Washington Hospital Hosts Blood Drive on August 14

by Washington Hospital

A blood donation is the gift of life from one human being to another. On Monday, August 14, Washington Hospital invites the community to join in their annual blood drive to give this gift to those whose lives depend on it. One blood donation can save up to three lives and one out of three people needs donated blood in his or her lifetime.

“We’re trying to contribute to the community since we (the hospital) are the ones who use the blood,” says Polly Hernandez, vice president of the Washington Hospital Employees Association.

Donating blood is a simple process that saves more than four million American lives each year. The process of donating blood from registration to blood drawing takes about 45 minutes. It’s quick, safe and painless.

There is no substitute for blood to aid in recovery and healing of a sick or injured person. Blood is always needed for treatment of accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs and surgery patients. According to the American Red Cross, donated blood is used for someone every three seconds. One out of 10 hospital patients needs a transfusion.

To be a blood donor, you must be healthy, at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last 56 days. Being healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. Those with a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure are considered “healthy” if they are being treated and the condition is under control.

When you arrive for your donation appointment, you will be asked to provide identification, preferably a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or a Red Cross blood donor card. This ensures that donors are properly identified in Red Cross records and can be reached for follow up if needed.

Before any blood is collected, you will be asked about your health history, and your past and present lifestyle. This interview will be kept private and confidential. If you are allergic to iodine, tape or natural latex, tell the interviewer, so that the donation staff can substitute other materials.

Donors will receive a brief, pre-donation examination during which temperature, pulse, blood pressure and blood count will be measured. A drop of your blood will be collected to be sure you have enough red blood cells to donate safely.

A pint of blood will be drawn from your arm as your donation. The donation staff will clean an area of the arm from which they will draw the blood, using clean and sterile supplies used only for you. It will take about 10 minutes to draw the pint, and your body will replace the plasma, or liquid part, of your blood within a few hours. The blood cells will be replenished in a few weeks.

The Washington Hospital Blood Drive will be held on August 14 from 12 to 6 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson Auditorium, Room C, Washington West, 2500 Mowry Ave., Fremont. To make an appointment to donate, you can register online at Click on “Find A Drive” from the menu and enter the zip code 94538 on the “Find A Blood Drive” page and scroll down until you see the Washington Hospital link. You may also call and schedule an appointment at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543). Walk-in donors are also welcome.

For more information on blood donation, visit the Web site of the American Red Cross,

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