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Blood donation saves lives — beginning with your own

By Staff | Dec 18, 2019

Lee Health had its Blood Mobile out at the Pine Island Moose Lodge Saturday, Dec. 14, from 8 a.m. to noon. While blood donations saving lives of recipients is fairly common knowledge, people may not be aware of the health benefits for the donor.

“The doctors tell me to donate blood,” said Peter Green, while waiting his turn to donate. “My blood’s heavy – too much iron I guess. They say I could have heart attacks, strokes and who knows what else if I don’t donate.”

“It’s the right thing to do,” said universal donor Robert Haszinger, who gets regular calls to donate his blood, due to the type. “It cleans out your systemit’s good for you.”

Michael Bailey said that in the years since he began donating, he has contributed approximately 16 gallons of blood.

“They need my blood it’s rare. I generally get a phone call,” he said.

When asked why it’s important to encourage people to donate blood, Camille Bafundo of Lee Health said, “You can never have enough of a blood supply. Not only does it help benefit those in Lee County, but it also benefits the donor. We use the analogy that donating blood is like getting an oil change for your body. Not only are you helping someone else, but you’re helping your body create a supply of new blood as well.”

“It can help reduce stroke and heart problems,” said Gina Bolden of Lee Health. “Also, we’ve got a lot of babies in Golisano Children’s Hospital that need it.”

According to Shannon Flory, lead donor recruiter for Lee Health, one in three people will need blood in their lifetime, stressing the importance of donating. She writes that according to new studies, donating blood improves overall cardiovascular health. For men in particular donating blood can reduce the amount of iron in the blood, reducing heart attack risk by 88 percent. Additionally, regular blood donation can reduce the risk of severe cardiovascular events such as stroke by 33 percent.

Requirements for donating blood include:

* Weight at least 115 lbs.

* Be relatively healthy.

* Provide photo ID.

* Have 56 days between donations.

Flory reminds everyone who donates blood to eat a meal beforehand and drink plenty of fluids before and after.

If you have questions about donating blood, please call Lee Health at 343-2333 or contact Flory at Shannon.Flory@leehealth.org