American Legion Post 66 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8560 are hosting the Carter BloodCare bus Saturday in Brookshire’s parking lot, 809 Gilmer St. in Sulphur Springs. The May 1 blood drive will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to Carter BloodCare, more than 3,500 blood drives were canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, leaving many banks at critically low levels, reported locally to be the worst blood supply shortage in a decade. Thus, every donation is appreciated.
Blood donors must be at least 16 years of age, weight a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in good general health; 16-year-olds must have written parental consent. There is no upper age limit to donate blood. Donors are encouraged to east a low-fat meal 2-4 hours before giving blood, and drink lots of water or juice before and after donating. They are recommended to avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine products for 12 hours before and after donating, and to avoid strenuous activity for 12 hours after donating blood.
According to Carter BloodCare, most health conditions won’t prohibit people from donating blood. Exceptions that could prevent a person from donating, include those: with skin cancers, solid tumor cancers, leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma, Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, variant Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, or people who have had certain exposure risks, a history of heart disease, hereditary hemochromatosis, or a history of certain infections, lung disease, people who are on antibiotics for treatment of a current infection (not including topical treaments), who are pregnant and for 6 weeks following pregnancy, on testosterone therapy, within 3 months after most blood and platelet transfusions or receiving human grafts and transplants, a history of other certain transplants, who are malaria risks due to travel outside the US, who have had certain recent vaccinations.
Click here to see Carter’s full list of medications and deferral period for each before donor eligibility as well as a list of infections and exposure risks, and conditions that would make a person ineligible to donate blood.
How To Donate
Those who wish to donate blood Saturday need only look for the bus; have a state-issued, school or government issued photo ID in hand; and meet eligibility requirements to donate at the drive hosted by the American Legion and VFW, according to American Legion Post 66 Judge Advocate Billy Cassy.
For the safety of donors and staff, Carter BloodCare continues to follow all national guidelines from the industry as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means face masks are to be worn by donors and staff, and donors are asked to observe social distancing where possible, according to the CBC website.
All potential donors will be asked for their name, address and to show valid photo ID. A phlebotomist checks temperature, blood pressure, pulse and blood count for potential donors, then asks questions about their medical history to make sure giving blood is safe for the individual and that the potential donor’s blood will be safe to give to patients. Blood donation typically takes approximately 5-10 minutes, and the entire process from registration to post-donation refreshments is anticipated to take less than an hour. The drive is for whole blood donations.
While an appointment is not necessary, those wishing to reserve a time may go online to the Carter BloodCare website and select mobile drive conducted by the American Legion Post #66, select an available time slot and register. All others may look for the Carter BloodCare bus in Brookshire’s parking lot between 9 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. Saturday, May 1. Then get in line with ID.
All donors will be COVID-19 antibody tested. Individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine may donate blood with no deferral time.
Further questions about this drive may be directed to Andy Lowen at 903-355-3733 or Post 66 Judge Advocate Billy Cassy at 903-440-1873