In doubt about giving blood? You could be eligible

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on October 19, 2011 with No Comments

Think you’re not a good candidate for blood donation? Think again. Sometimes, people with high blood pressure and diabetes suspect they are not eligible to give blood. Many cancer survivors also believe they will be deferred because of their previous illness.

“But that’s not always the case,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “We’re working to dispel myths and to educate people about who can give blood and when.”

In the United States, about 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood. The most common reason someone might not be able to give on any given day is low hemoglobin. And Red Cross officials say that measure of iron in red blood cells can often be improved by eating more iron-rich foods or by talking to your doctor about taking iron supplements.

“The good thing is, most deferrals are for short periods of time,” said Whitman. “Most of the time, people can monitor and address the cause, and then come back to give blood again.”

Donors with high blood pressure, for instance, can give blood as long as their condition is controlled. And diabetics can give if their blood sugar is controlled with diet, oral medication or with most insulins. Some cancer survivors can also donate. Donors with a history of nonhematologic cancer must be cancer-free for one year, have completed all their treatments and meet all other eligibility criteria.

“We encourage anyone who is in good general health to consider giving blood,” said Whitman. “If you like to help people, the Red Cross is the place to be, and has the right volunteer opportunity just for you.”

Give blood or platelets Oct. 1 to 31 and be entered to win a weekend getaway for two at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, Ohio and a zip-line tour through Hocking Hills Canopy Tours.


Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in Porter County:

• Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 2-6 p.m.,YMCA, 1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive, Valparaiso; 

• Thursday, Oct. 20, from 2-7 p.m., St. Mary’s Church Fellowship Hall, 402 E. Indiana Ave., Kouts;

• Thursday, Oct. 20, from noon until 6 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church Meeting Hall, 106 East 1100 North, Chesterton; 

• Friday, Oct. 21, from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., YMCA of Portage, 3100 Willowcreek Road, Portage.  Please email egonzalez@comhs.org to schedule;   

• Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the Boys & Girls Club of Porter County – South Haven in the small gymnasium, 723 Long Run Road, Valparaiso;

• Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 2-6:30 p.m., Valparaiso University School of Law, at 656 Greenwich St., Valparaiso. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “vulaw” to schedule;

• Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., Izaak Walton League Dining Hall, 1250 Crisman Road, Portage. Call 219-762-9974 to schedule;

•  Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Ivy Tech Community College, 3100 Ivy Tech Drive, Valparaiso;

•  Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Wheeler High School gymnasium, 587 West 300 North in Valparaiso; 

• Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 2-6 p.m., Valparaiso University, Brandt Hall Cafeteria. This blood drive is sponsored by the Arnold Air Society AFROTC.


Upcoming Lake County drives:


• Saturday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Aderson Dental Professionals, 7101 E. Lincoln Highway, Crown Point.  Call 940-3149 or email andentcent@hotmail.com to schedule;

• Monday, Oct. 24, from 2:30-6:30 p.m., Hobart Community Center, 111 E. Old Ridge Road, Hobart. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “hobcomctr” to schedule;

• Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 2:30-7 p.m., Indiana University Northwest Moraine Student Center, 3400 Broadway, Gary. Call 980-6769 or go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “IUN” to schedule;   

•Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 2-7 p.m., Jean Shepherd Community Center arts room, 3031 Mahoney Drive, Hammond. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “jscommc” to schedule;

• Thursday, Oct. 27, from 3-7 p.m. at Village Church commons area, 14849 93rd Ave., Dyer; 

• Thursday, Oct. 27, from 3-7 p.m. at Jerry Ross Elementary School cafeteria, 11319 Randolph St., Crown Point. Call 219-663-3010, ext. 18107 or email kmidkiff@cps.k12.in.us to schedule;

• The Merrillville Donor Center, 791 E. 83rd Ave., Merrillville, is open every Monday from 12:30-5 p.m. and the first and third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. until noon.


How to Donate Blood

The northern Indiana blood donation site, administered by American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana, is at  791 East 83rd Ave Merrillville. For more information, call 219-756-5360.

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