Blood Bank Says Donors Are Needed; High on the Request List: Donors with A and O Positive Blood

Article excerpt

Byline: lisa miller

Thirty minutes out of your life could quite possibly save another's.

That's the message Sandy Janson is desperately trying to get out as the Blood Center of St. Johns reaches a critical low in its supply.

The donor service manager said most people remember to donate during a national crisis, but like volunteering at food banks during the holiday season, most forget the generosity is needed year-round.

"It's a daily fight," Janson said.

The Blood Center of St. Johns collects 5,000 units or pints a year, which is low in comparison to larger banks, Janson said, but it's still a difficult amount to reach.

"January is our slowest month," Janson said of donations. "Everyone's coming off of the holiday break . . . and not really thinking about donating."

Most people also only think about donating plasma, organs, tissue or bone marrow, she said.

"It just seems blood donation doesn't get the same media attention as all those other procedures," Janson said.

A person can only donate one pint per eight weeks. That unit is then "spun down" into different uses, such as red cells, which is what's received during a transfusion.

The problem is, Janson said, red cells have a shelf-life of only six weeks and an emergency surgery or large transfusion could wipe out their entire supply at any moment. …


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