Local hospital sponsors blood drive

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-A blood drive took place at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in collaboration with the American Red Cross on Thursday.

Director of Marketing and Public Relations with Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, Shay Willis, says hospital employees know just how vital blood donations are.

"This is something, as a hospital, we take very dear to heart," Willis said. "We have patients that need blood on a regular basis. Each month we transfuse approximately 100 units. And so, we take this very seriously."

Willis says they hold a blood drive at AMMC and every 56 days.

Willis says they arrived at this number because if you're a whole blood donor that is when you are eligible to give blood.

"One hundred units a month is a lot of people in need," Willis said. "So, we try to make sure we keep the American Red Cross shelves stocked to ultimately our lab here at the hospital is stocked so we can meet the needs of our patients."

Marmaduke resident Jessica Scoggin says she knows first hand how vital those blood transfusions can be.

Her grandfather needed a blood transfusion when he went into Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in April and her grandmother was admitted to the hospital a few days ago and needed blood, as well.

"My grandmother is here today and she had a knee replacement done on Monday," Scoggin said. "She had to have two units of blood done. So, I figured it could be my blood or it could be somebody else that she needs."

Willis says rarely know when they come to the hospital that they're going to need blood.

"So often people come into the hospital not knowing that they might need blood," Willis said. "Some of the obvious things are an accident, vehicle accident or some other sort of trauma."

Additional reasons a patient could need a blood transfusion are surgery, transplants, women with complications during childbirth, newborns and premature babies and patients receiving treatment for cancer or other diseases.

Willis says the summer months can be particularly low due to regular donors getting busy.

"Especially in the summer months," Willis said. "The Red Cross is still having to do their job and still have to make sure that there's blood available for patients and we get so carried away with our summer vacations and we get off our normal schedule that sometimes we forget that we might need to donate."

Willis says the biggest need with blood is that it's something that must be given and given often.

"I think the importance behind giving blood is that it's not something we can go and purchase," Willis said. "It's something that can only be given and it is a true gift. It is a gift of life. And potentially when you give up to one unit of blood you can save up to three people's lives."

Scoggin, "One day it could very well be you and you may need blood that someone else could give you."

For more information about Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, log onto their website.

For additional information about the American Red Cross, log onto this site.

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