Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Generosity means more than giving money

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 13, 2013 at 7:14 p.m.

When was the last time you donated blood?

Blood is essential to human life. The average adult body contains about 10 pints of blood. If an adult loses a third to 40 percent of this essential fluid, death is a very real danger.

Thankfully, blood transfusions during emergencies can help compensate and prevent this danger. But the only way to get blood to save a person's life is from another human.

That is why organizations like the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are so important. These groups take blood donations that will then be used to help all kinds of people, including cancer patients, open-heart surgery patients, diabetics, recipients of organ or tissue transplants and trauma victims. People in each of these situations must rely on the generosity of others to help save their lives. And we encourage everyone to consider donating blood to become a lifesaver.

January is National Blood Donor Month, and the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is holding a blood drive to encourage more people to contribute to the much-needed supply. According to Carmen Davila, vice president of corporate communication, the need for blood is a yearlong effort, but this particular drive is also a push to make up for the slow donation season during the holidays, as well as an opportunity for people who took New Year's resolutions to help others. Another slow period is during the summer, when high school and college students who typically donate during the school year are off on vacation.

We encourage Crossroads residents to take this chance to make a difference and help save a life. By giving just one pint of blood, residents could help save a crash victim, a heart-attack victim or even a neighbor, friend or member of their own family.

As with any procedure, there are certain physical requirements that must be met. Donators must weigh at least 120 pounds and be 17 years old or 16 with a parent's permission. Donators should bring a photo ID, as well as be prepared to answer some health-related questions. Donators should also eat a full meal about four hours before donating and drink six to eight glasses of non-caffeine/non-alcoholic fluids.

Davila said the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center has been accepting donations in Victoria since 1979. In 2012, a little more than 17,500 units of blood were collected in Victoria and the surrounding counties. About 13,000 units were used in community hospitals, while the rest were sent off to other facilities in the South Texas region.

We are glad to see Victoria has such a strong history of donating and caring for the health of others. We encourage our readers to keep that tradition going. Business owners can help by offering a site for the donations to take place, whether it means letting the mobile unit park nearby or offering a meeting or conference area for donations. Individuals can help by donating a pint or even giving others who want to donate a ride to the site. With just a little effort, you could help save a life.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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