July 18, 2018 10:51:32 AM
It happens every summer.
Each year, Mississippi Blood Services holds five to 10 blood drives a day in the state and each summer, the number of those who donate blood falls, sometimes by as much as 30 percent, which obviously endangers the amount of blood available for patients, especially in emergency situations.
No one really understands why this happens, but MBS officials seem to think it's simply a matter of awareness. For some reason, potential donors simply don't give much thought to the matter.
Not to scold, of course, but it's hard to imagine why, especially in a state where giving is a part of our ethos. Mississippians are big givers. We give our time, our money, our support.
But when it comes to blood donations, not so much, even though there are few things that are more important to give that cost almost nothing to the giver. Medical breakthroughs may have found substitutes for all manner of needs, but there is not substitute for blood.
Experts say it takes as little as 24 hours to replenish the volume of blood lost after making a donation, although it takes up to about eight weeks to replenish all of the elements lost through a donation.
The only cost, really, is a half-hour or so of a person's time.
Most healthy adults can donate blood and while many do, scores of others do not. Factoring out those with trypanophobia (fear of needles), the primary reason that so many do not endure the minor pain associated with blood donations is, mostly likely, a lack of awareness.
Mississippi Blood Services does not have a facility in the Golden Triangle. Even so, MBS, often in conjunctions with area hospitals, universities and even businesses sponsor blood drives on a regular basis.
This week, blood drives were held at Chik-fil-A restaurants in Columbus and Starkville and at Oktibbeha County Hospital Regional Medical Center.
If you missed those opportunities, there will be other chances to donate, including Friday when Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle holds a drive from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
If you can't make it out for that event, you can always check out the upcoming blood drives in your area by opening an account with United Blood Services at www.bloodhero.com. There, you will be able to find donation centers and times/places of future blood drives. It might also help remind you that there is always a need for blood - and therefore blood donors.
We strongly believe that most people recognize the importance of being a blood donation.
Let's make it a point not to forget something so important.