June 22 will be a very special day at Street Toyota and we are inviting you to come help us save lives in Amarillo. From 10am to 5pm in our south showroom, Coffee Memorial Blood Center will be on hand to collect blood from volunteer donors, which will be made into blood components to be used to help patients in the Amarillo area. If you have never donated blood before, there is no better time to start than now! As long as you are in good health, weigh more than 115 pounds and are 17 or over with proper identification, you can be a blood donor. If you have donated before, we thank you and welcome you back! Here are a few facts about blood and blood donation you may or may not know, whether you are a donor or not:
The pint of blood you donate is turned into three components for transfusion, helping up to three people or six or more newborns – plasma, packed red cells and platelets.
The plasma portion of the blood is used for burn patients to help restore the fluid levels of the body to ensure it is all working properly. The packed red cells are transfused to those with low hemoglobin, which are the red cells that help carry oxygen throughout the body. The platelets are transfused to those who have a disease or condition that compromises the clotting factors of their blood. Newborns, due to their size, require smaller amounts of the components, so they can be separated into smaller portions for use but are used for the same purposes as well.
Every two to three minutes, someone in the United States needs a transfusion.
From accident victims to newborn babies, transfusions of blood components happen more often than most people think they do. Since these components cannot be successfully replicated in a lab, volunteer donors are needed to supply them, yet only one percent of the population are regular blood donors. The pint of blood you donate Saturday will be ready to help someone as soon as Sunday!
It does not make a difference what your blood type is, every type is important.
If you know your blood type, you know that if you are O negative, you are a universal donor. This means that your blood type can be transfused to anyone no matter what blood type they have. This allows it to be used quickly in case of accident victims who may be in immediate need of blood and cannot wait for their blood type to be determined. What you may not know is that if you have AB positive or AB negative blood you are a universal platelet donor. This means that your platelets can be used for anyone in an emergency. While these three blood types are universal, there is still a need for all blood types to help those whose blood type has already been determined either through prior donations or by their doctor. Even in you have the most common blood type, O positive, your blood is just as important because of the amount of other people with the same type.
It is safer than ever to donate blood.
There are many regulations in regards to blood donation that are strictly adhered to by blood centers such as Coffee Memorial, making donating blood safer than ever. Blood bags, needles and other equipment that come into contact with your blood are used for you only, and all the other equipment is sanitized daily to ensure it is clean and safe. In regard to your body losing a pint of blood, while it may sound like a lot, the average person has 8 to 12 pints of blood in their body and donating a pint does not affect the way your blood works or circulates. In fact, if you are well hydrated and make sure you have a snack and a drink after you donate, you have already replaced a majority of the fluid lost during donation. If you want to be sure you are well hydrated, try to drink as many caffeine-free beverages as you can starting a few days prior to your donation. The sugary treats and beverages offered after donation are not just a thank you, they help to replenish both your sugar and fluid levels. So, after you donate, sit back, relax, and enjoy a treat. You deserve it!
While there are a million facts about blood donation, these are just a few of the most important ones. If you have any questions regarding blood donation, one of the great members of the Coffee Memorial Blood Center team will be happy to answer them for you. Many people assume they cannot donate blood only to find out later they could have, so ask questions, you may be surprised. Street Toyota is proud to host this blood drive to help provide life-saving blood components for the people of the Amarillo area. Street Toyota also invites you to browse their selection of great new, certified pre-owned and quality used cars before or after your donation. If it was not for our customers, we would not be able to host events such as the Coffee Memorial Blood Drive to help give back to the people of Amarillo. So come see us this Saturday at 4500 S Soncy Rd., roll up your sleeve and help the people of Amarillo!