The Saratoga Sun -

Blood drive next week


The Valley Service Organization (VSO) is holding its annual blood drive Tuesday from noon to 5:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Platte Valley Community Center.

As always, the drive is held in conjunction with United Blood Services of Wyoming (UBS).

Roxie Baldwin is Saratoga coordinator for the event. Those who wish to donate may call her at 307-326-8545 or by going on line to Walk-ins are also accepted.

Anyone who is in good health, at least 17 years old and who weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days, according to UBS.

UBS reports 500 people a week are needed to donate blood to serve the 15 area hospitals in this region, Baldwin said. Each blood donation can help several patients. Blood donations are separated into components: Platelets promote blood clotting and are often needed by patients with leukemia and cancer; red cells carry oxygen and are used to treat anemia; plasma – the liquid part of blood – is given to patients bleeding from liver disease and severe injuries, and cryoprecipitate contains blood clotting proteins and is used to treat or prevent bleeding.

Donors can double their impact by agreeing to what is known as a 2-RBC donation. The differences are that with a 2-RBC donation a smaller needle is used for a donation of two units of red cells and fluids are replaced during the donation. This means that while the donation process takes about 20 minutes longer, donors can only give three times a year.

Persons planning to donate blood are reminded to eat well 30 to 45 minutes prior to their donation, drink plenty of water all day to stay hydrated, limit caffeine intake, bring a list of medications and places and times of travels outside of the United States, and bring a photo ID. If they have a donor card, they should also bring these to expedite the registration and interview process, Baldwin said.


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