The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Blood Drawing in July a Success


August 1, 2018

Rachel Baumgarn Senior Coordinator of the Big Sandy Blood Draw reported a very successful Red Cross Blood Draw in Big Sandy July 25th. Their goal was to reach 25 units. Thirty-four people scheduled appointments with 30 eligible donors. They had 10 first time donors. Shandell Sando reached her one gallon mark, Michael Yeyerlehner 2 gallons donated, and Reggie Jappe has donated three gallons.

Jessica Roth was volunteering to be the Junior Coordinating for this blood draw, and for that she was given a scholarship. The Big Sandy FFA brought the soup, salad and cookies. It was an incredible lunch and everyone appreciated the many choices.

Forty-five percent of the public know someone who needed a blood transfusion, but only 3% of the population donate blood. Each unit donated is given to a person whose health desperately needs it and in many cases their lives depends on the blood donated. Any person between 18 and 60 years, weighing 100 pounds or more can safely donate one unit of blood, that is, 350 ml or approximately one pint every three months. After donating blood our own hemoglobin count returns to normal within two weeks. According to the Red Cross, "someone needs blood or platelets every two seconds in the United States. They say a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood."

Phlebotomist Tami Welsh from Great Falls said they do three to ten blood draws a week, depending on how far they travel. They have permanent sites in Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman, Missoula, and Kalispell

Once blood is donated it lasts for 42 days. When platelets are donated they last only five. Plasma can last up to three years when frozen at a temperature of -13 degrees Fahrenheit. So, blood donated can be used three different ways.

"It's always been a good cause," said a first-time donator. "I'm a little nervous but I'm not terrified of needles."

Good job Big Sandy. You just saved the life of 30 people!


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