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Lincoln residents need to support blood drives if collections are to continue here

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Know and Go:

Sun City Lincoln Hills Blood Drive: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 24 in the blood mobile at the Orchard Creek Lodge parking lot, 965 Orchard Creek Lane.

Lincoln Community Blood Drive: 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22 inside the Veterans Hall, 541 5th St.

St. Joseph’s Church Blood Drive: Held quarterly. The next one is from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 27 at 280 Oak Tree Lane. Call BloodSource’s Gayle Graves at 416-9922 for other times. 

More donors are needed for two upcoming Lincoln blood drives on July 24 and Aug. 22.

Lincoln Rotary Club members, who sponsor the Lincoln Community Blood Drive for the last 15 years in downtown Lincoln, recently told The News Messenger that BloodSource is considering dropping the blood drives “due to declining numbers of donors.”

Rotary Club’s Joanne Hilton also mentioned that the Lincoln Hills Blood Drive was recently canceled.

BloodSource is a nonprofit blood bank to Roseville-area hospitals, said BloodSource’s account manager Gayle Graves.

The nonprofit organization supplies the life-saving fluid to more than 40 hospitals in 25 counties, from the Oregon border to Merced, according to its website.

On Tuesday, Graves acknowledged that donor numbers are down in Lincoln but the organization “will try again” holding a blood drive July 24 at Lincoln Hills.

“We used to collect 20 to 25 pints, which is between 30 and 35 donors, at the Sun City blood drive for at least eight years every eight weeks,” Graves said. “April 3rd was the last time we were there because our number of donors continued to decrease to 16 or 12. We’re going to try again there on July 24 because summer months are tougher for us to collect blood.”

The Rotary Club’s Lincoln Community Blood Drive will be held Aug. 22 inside the Veterans Hall.

BloodSource must collect about 700 units of blood per day to meet hospital demands from Oregon to Merced, according to Graves.  About 38 percent of the United States population is eligible to donate blood, Graves said, yet less than 10 percent do. 

Why should Lincoln residents donate blood?

“One, to maintain our blood supply. Donating one pint of your blood can save up to three lives,” Graves said. “It takes an hour of your time to be able to do that, you don’t have to pay anything, and in one hour, you can save lives. Everyone in their lifetime will know someone who needs blood. How nice it is to be able to replenish the blood supply.”

An average blood drive, Graves said, collects 25 pints.

Since one pint can save up to three lives, “that could be at least 75 lives saved,” according to Graves.

“It doesn’t hurt. The most inconvenient part would be the prick,” Graves said. “We have well-trained phlebotomists who make it easy.”

Donors must be at least 16-years-old.

“They have to be healthy and well with no colds or flu symptoms and no tattoos within the last year,” Graves said. “To see if you’re eligible, call (866) 822-5663.”

Those who are 16 need a consent form signed by their parents. The form can be downloaded at   bloodsource.org.

Hilton, an active Rotary member, has donated for the last five years in her club’s drives.

“Friends and relatives and neighbors all need blood at different times. Nothing feels better than to give blood. My husband does it too,” Hilton said. “You know there will be a need. It’s such a small thing to do. And the Placer Cattlewomen give you wonderful goodies at the Rotary drives. The homemade brownies are my favorite.”

Besides benefiting hospital patients, Hilton said that being a donor helps the donor.

“The added benefit is it’s good for your health if you regularly donate once a quarter,” Hilton said. “Reducing the iron in your body can reduce the risk of cancer. Studies also show you burn off 650 calories per donation. If you don’t give blood, your blood gets thicker. Reducing the viscosity of the blood could decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Finland studies show if you donate blood, you have an 80-percent lower risk of having a heart attack.”

Hilton hopes the number of donors increases at the Aug. 22 Rotary drive.

“We were averaging 20 to 25 donors and then it dropped off,” Hilton said. “There are 44,000 people in Lincoln so why can’t we get 200 donors each time? I want to see lines out the door Aug. 22.”