Letter to the Editor_Give Life

Dear Editor,

Imagine you're a leukemia patient, the parents of a teen critically injured in a car accident or the children of a senior citizen needing heart surgery.
Then a physician informs you that there aren't enough blood products available to immediately help you or your loved one. Treatment will have to wait.
When our region's blood reserves fall to less than a day's supply, that nightmare scenario has a much greater chance of becoming reality - unless more people come out and donate blood.
If we heard of limited gas supplies or other valued commodity, we'd panic because such a shortage can affect us all. Before a winter snowstorm, in some places just the threat of snow causes milk, bread and other supplies to disappear from store shelves.
We should feel equally alarmed when blood supplies drop below a couple of days' supply.
That's because there is a 97% chance that someone you know will need a blood transfusion. The need can be chronic, such as for some patients with cancer or sickle cell disease, or acute, such as for someone in an accident, suffering gastrointestinal bleeding or needing emergency surgery.
Due to required testing and other post-donation activities, it takes about 48 hours for blood products obtained from a unit of donated blood to reach patients in need.
If it were your loved one waiting for a blood transfusion, how would you feel? Please, act today. Visit redcrosslife.org or call 800-GIVE LIFE (800-448-3543) to schedule your appointment or to get more information. --Sincerely, James E. Starr, CEO, Greater Alleghenies Region