The Upper Peninsula Regional Blood Center is struggling to survive a tough winter. Because the winter has been so severe, the center has seen falling numbers relative to the constant need it tries to sustain.
Cold, snow and ice have caused blood drive cancellations; a drop in donors outside of the normal holiday lull has impacted supplies; and people just aren't walking through the doors off the street.
There is a need for all blood, but types O and both A negative and A positive present the greatest need.
While the center needs people to donate every day of the year - they claim 50 donations a day is required to keep up to demand - the winter has put a large dent in the center's normal supplies.
Think about it this way: If you or someone you know and care about were to be injured in a car accident, or if said hypothetical person needed surgery, one of the things needed would be blood. That blood, used for surgical, maternity, emergency and other needs, covers the entire Upper Peninsula and comes from donors.
Without the blood patients need, situations all over the hospital could turn from routine to life threatening in the blink of an eye.
Donating blood is easy and quick. A donor can lounge in a comfortable chair at the center and watch television while the blood is collected. It's virtually painless and doesn't cause harm to the donor.
Donors do need to meet certain critera including age, weight, blood pressure and other health- and disease-related categories all covered in a questionairre. A donor can give blood once every 8 weeks.
The blood center collects approximately 12,000 pints of blood and another 7,000 packs of platelets and all the blood collected in the U.P. stays in the U.P.
We encourage anyone and everyone who is able and willing to get to the U.P. Regional Blood Center and give blood. You really could be saving a life.