By Heather Regula
The Belton Fire Department held their annual Blood Drive on Thursday, August 10, from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. The Scott & White Mobile Blood Center set up shop in the driveway. Lisa DeWeese, of Belton, appreciates the Mobile Blood Center and the locations they set up at in the community.
“I’ve been donating blood since for 50 years. People always need blood, and I can give it, so I do. I like to go when they have a blood drive in town,” said DeWeese. “It’s more convenient and usually faster to donate blood. I receive postcards in the mail from the Scott & White Blood Center, and they tell me when and where to go – I try to go donate if I can!”
Approximately one-third of the population can donate blood. However, less than ten percent are blood donors.
“Everyday we need 57 units of blood – which equates to 1100 units a month – to keep up with the blood demand. One accident victim can use 100 units of blood or more,” said phlebotomist team lead Peggy Sofgee. “A patient requires blood until they’re stable, and that can take awhile.”
Sofgee has her CDL and drives the Mobile Blood Center.
Blood is unique in the fact that it can’t be man-made, so there is a reliance on blood donors. Donated blood cannot be frozen, and there is a 42-day shelf life. O-negative is the universal blood type and is always in demand as it’s the first one to be used during an emergency.
“Inventory is tight. The summer months haven’t been good for blood donation. People don’t seem to realize how much blood is used on a daily basis,” said Sofgee. “Disasters, like 9-11 and the Fort Hood shootings, bring out the best in people. We often get overwhelmed by individuals wanting to donate blood once disaster strikes. There is a constant and ongoing need for donated blood.”
Fire Chief Bruce Pritchard shares DeWeese’s philosophy regarding blood donation.
“I always give blood because other people need blood. I might need blood one day,” said Pritchard.
The Scott & White Blood Center hours are Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Businesses or organizations interested in hosting a blood drive can call (254)724-HERO and ask to speak with a Scott & White Blood Center Recruiter.