While hospitals and patients need more blood, they're finding that less people have the time to donate. (WRDW-TV / March 20, 2012)
News 12 at This Morning / Tuesday, March 20, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Expanding hospitals across the area need one vital tool to save more lives: blood donations.
The staff at Shepeard Community Blood Center says often times, donors don't have enough time to do the good deed.
While he's home for spring break, Tyler Golden is making plans to visit the beach and take it easy. Less than a year ago, the 19-year-old was in a hospital bed undergoing treatments for Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"When the chemo hits your body, it can wipe out your white blood cell count so you can't fight infection," Golden explained.
He needed a blood transfusion so his red blood cells could carry oxygen throughout his body.
"A big emergency in our minds because he wouldn't have survived without it, " said Golden's mother, Molly.
Golden received four bags of blood that came from Shepeard Community Blood Center for his transfusions.
"I actually passed out twice from not having enough red blood cells," he said. " As soon as you get a blood transfusion, you just feel like a new man."
Linda Petersen with the Shepeard Community Blood Center said, "With all the need, there is need for more people to donate."
At the blood donation center it takes less than 10 minutes for nurses to draw the blood, but the mini-physical and recovering after the blood is drawn can take up to an hour.
"Its been difficult with the economy. It's been harder for workers to get off to donate," Petersen explained. "Thirty-seven percent of the population can donate, but yet around 10 percent actually does."
It's a trend the staff wants to change because in a crisis -- or even in Golden's case -- the blood you give could save many lives.
"There is no other way to get a blood product except for the kindness in someone's heart," Golden's mother said.
Golden saw it firsthand.
"Just in the clinic I was in, there were probably 15 to 20 patients all suffering from different types of cancer but still needing blood transfusions," he said.
It's an experience that is now leading him to become a doctor one day.
There are several places where you can roll up your sleeve to donate. You can always stop by a Shepeard Blood Mobile or visit the following locations:
Shepeard Community Blood Center
1533 Wrightsboro Road
Shepeard Community Blood Center -- Evans
4329 Washington Road
Shepeard Community Blood Center -- Aiken
(in the Hitchcock Plaza Shopping Center )
353 Fabian Drive