Woodward, Okla. —
Caring, and healthy, people have 2 chances to help save lives when the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) conducts a pair of blood drives.
The first blood drive will be held from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 at Sharon-Mutual Elementary, 201 S. 3rd in Sharon.
That will be followed by a blood collection clinic the next day, from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 30 at 1st Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall in Woodward, at 202 E. Hank's Trail.
The drives are being held because there is always a need to have an adequate supply of blood to support patients in 144 Oklahoma hospitals that are supported by OBI, said Leslie Gamble, OBI community relations director. This includes Woodward Regional Hospital, which used approximately 440 units (pints) of blood in 2011, Gamble said.
WHO CAN DONATE BLOOD?
Anyone 16 or older can donate at an OBI blood drive. However, 16-year-olds must have signed parental permission and must weigh at least 125 pounds to donate. The weight requirement is the same for 17-year-olds, while donors over 18 must weigh in at least 110 pounds, officials said.
It is also important for donors to be in good health when they donate.
As summer continues, OBI said it's important to increase fluid intake all day before donating and eat a complete, balanced meal within 6 hours of the scheduled donation.
"That's so it makes donating an easier experience," she said. "The liquid intake makes it easier to find a vein, and overall, people usually feel better after they give if they have eaten well before donating."
When donating blood, a pint of blood is drawn, which could help as many as 3 people - either through use of the whole blood or its contents, such as platelets and plasma.
To find out more, or to schedule an appointment to donate at both sites, contact OBI, toll-free, at (877) 340-8777 or check obi.org.