There is a serious blood shortage now

Mail Call
from The Minnesota Legionnaire

This letter to the editor contains information I have come across from the American Red Cross and is pertinent to our mission as Legionnaires:

Donate Blood to Save Lives: There may be different reasons behind the blood requirement of an ill person. Maybe he has met with an accident, has undergone an operation or is suffering from an illness like anemia or cancer. Your donated blood goes on to help this affected person in overcoming his critical situation and regain new life. It symbolizes a helpful and responsible gesture not only to the person in need, but also toward society at large.

Advantageous for the Body: Blood donation is not at all harmful for the body; rather the four or five pints of blood that can be donated every year by both men and women ensures that you remain fit and fine. Firstly, the cell depletion that occurs due to blood donation, forces the body to produce new cells. Plasma, the fluid portion of blood is replenished within 24 hours. Red Cells need about four to six weeks for complete replacement. Secondly, the body is armed against a host of diseases ranging from liver and heart problems to even cancer. This benefit comes from depleting extra iron deposits through blood donation. Thus, donating blood is in another way, a step toward revitalizing your body. Thirdly, giving blood is an act of selfless volunteerism, proven to uplift one’s psychological well-being. Knowing you are helping others has been shown to have a positive effect on happiness.

Blood Donation is the Sole Way of Obtaining Blood: Blood can neither be artificially produced nor can it be stored beyond a definite time. Amid the three components of blood, plasma can be preserved for years (frozen), red blood cells can be stored for 42 days, and platelets can be kept only for five days. Consequently, the demand for blood is always on the high in hospitals. The only way to meet this critical patient need is through voluntary donation.

Blood drives in your post are very important, and there is a severe shortage with everything going on. This is due to the continuing pandemic, to staff shortages and to an increased need.

Right now, we are facing an emergency blood shortage. Hospital demand continues to outpace donations — your help is vital.
It’s important to know that all individuals at blood drives must wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status.
Donors may still donate after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Knowing the name of the manufacturer is critical in determining blood donation eligibility.

Terry Larson
Department Blood Donor Program Committee
Forest Lake Post 225