banner
Health Team

Blood donors often absent during summer months

Posted June 15, 2012

— Thanks to warm weather, longer days and any number of vacations, summer is the time of year when people usually spend the most time juggling their schedules.

For the Rex Hospital Blood Bank, that usually translates into fewer donations, and at times, blood shortages. 

Because Rex's bank also supplements blood banks at other major Triangle hospitals, shortages – regardless of when they happen – are never good. 

Rex Healthcare logo Rex Healthcare blood drive schedule

"Our schedules get a little crazy, and so we forget that friends and family in area hospitals are still out there, still needing us," said Emilie Sanders, who works at the Rex Healthcare Donor Center.

Next Friday, Rex Healthcare will hold its annual "Save Our Summer" blood drive at the Blue Ridge Road donor center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It's a time that Rex uses to reach out to past donors while also trying to bring in new ones. 

Leah Herreid, who started donating blood every 8 weeks several years ago, said the idea of helping someone in need is what keeps her coming back to Rex. 

Blood Blood donors often absent during summer months

"There was a blood drive at school, and I wanted to find out what it was all about," she said. "I've always been bitten by the 'help other people' bug."

The only people not eligible to donate are those who weigh less than 110 pounds, those under the age of 17, and people currently taking antibiotics for an infection. Watson said the 30-to-45-minute process is simple and does end up saving lives. 

"It's often a life or death situation and we want to be ready the moment that patients need us," she said. 

Donors can also donate blood platelets, which are used for burn patients and cancer patients. Platelets help the blood clot and fight infection.

11 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • nowon_yuno Jun 19, 2:35 p.m.

    I used to donate all the time until I went in the service. Now since I was in Europe during the mad cow scare in the late 90s and was deployed to the Balkans a few times I can no longer donate.

  • msudawg Jun 19, 12:58 p.m.

    I was a regular blood donor but I travel a lot. I have been to Cozumel several times and when I attempted to donate last I was flagged as not eligible because I had been to Cozumel. Cozumel had been added to the list of areas that may have malaria. I can't donate for a year and that is only if some of the other Caribbean areas that I have visited haven't been added to the list. I understand about keeping the blood supply safe but if we can visit these areas without vaccinations how serious can the malaria problem be.

  • htomc42 Jun 18, 3:32 p.m.

    Stormy: fantastic! That is exactly the sort of compensation that will help- the ability to get blood for no price if you are a donor. I like it. So, its not quite as "altruistic" as you initially implied- you could quite possibly benefit financially from it, by not being charged for blood if you need it.

    It's not necessary for dollars to change hands, in order to encourage and compensate people for blood/body parts. Something like this- which is essentially a free insurance policy, is a very good alternative and a step in the right direction.

  • carrboroyouth Jun 18, 3:23 p.m.

    Blood donation should NOT be compensated - you'd get all kind of sick people trying to donate unhealthy blood for money.

  • carrboroyouth Jun 18, 3:21 p.m.

    "The only people not eligible to donate are those who weigh less than 110 pounds, those under the age of 17, and people currently taking antibiotics for an infection." That's not true. I've tried numerous times to donate and can't because I'm anemic. I gave up trying years ago but had tried from the time I turned 17 through my 20's."

    Well yeah, they also won't take people who have had shady piercings or tattoos from unlicensed parlors, people who have done recreational IV drugs, people with certain bloodborne pathogens or conditions, etc.

    I am also slightly anemic but I bulk up on spinach, broccoli and iron supplements a week before donating - that allows me to pass the iron test. The only problem I've been turned down for is dehydration, so that is also important to remember :]

  • Stormy13 Jun 18, 2:10 p.m.

    htomc42: That "gift of life" will be at NO CHARGE to me due to the fact that I am a Rex Blood Donor. Both my dad and mom needed blood and it was at "no charge" to them due to the fact that I, as a famly member, was a donor.

  • htomc42 Jun 18, 12:07 p.m.

    Stormy13: I'm "about" people getting the blood/organs/whatever they need to survive. That means being for whatever method works the best to make sure that the people who desperately need these things, can get them.

    And it's clear that the begging/pure altruism model just isn't capable of delivering what is needed. So, the question becomes- what is more important, feeling good about yourself for giving the "gift of life", or making sure that these suffering people have an adequate supply of what they need?

    If you think that getting paid for something like that is so morally wrong, nothing would stop you from taking the compensation and donating it to a charity.

    (if you ever need blood- and I hope you don't- any guesses on how much that "gift" will be on your hospital bill?)

  • storchheim Jun 18, 11:59 a.m.

    htomenc, I'm sure there's a place near Raleigh Rescue Mission where you can sell your blood, if that's the way you feel.

  • childofNC Jun 18, 10:43 a.m.

    "The only people not eligible to donate are those who weigh less than 110 pounds, those under the age of 17, and people currently taking antibiotics for an infection."
    That's not true. I've tried numerous times to donate and can't because I'm anemic. I gave up trying years ago but had tried from the time I turned 17 through my 20's.

  • Stormy13 Jun 18, 9:47 a.m.

    htomc42: Compensation is NOT what it's all about! The fact that you are even suggestiong such a thing shows what type person you are. We give blood because we know people need it and the "cookie & OJ" afterwards is appreciated! PLEASE give the "gift of life" because you want to help others, not because you expect to get paid for doing so.

More...