Wendy Reber, Outreach Coordinator of the Community Blood Bank, performed a presentation to the Coudersport Rotary Club last week, asking the Club to support the community-based blood supply efforts of the Community Blood Bank. According to Reber, “As a community, we shouldn’t rely solely on international blood banks for our supplies when we are capable of maintaining an ongoing ‘local’ supply of blood products provided by our own residents to be used by our community’s medical care providers.”
Reber added that one pint of blood can save 3 to 4 lives, however merely 37% of Americans are eligible to give blood and only 5% of those actually do donate. People can donate up to 6 times per year; however those donating red cells (blood product) can do so every 112 days. The shelf life of blood/blood products is 5 weeks, and therefore ongoing blood drives remain vital to maintaining the necessary supplies.
The Charles Cole Memorial Hospital alone received 577 units of blood/blood products from the Community Blood Bank in 2009, and has already utilized an additional 425 units so far this year, according to Jennifer Rossman, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Charles Cole Memorial Hospital. “In fact the Community Blood Bank has been the exclusive source of blood/blood product supply for the hospital,” added Rossman.
The Community Blood Bank will continue the numerous blood drives conducted throughout the County each year and encourages any organization interested in sponsoring a local blood drive to contact Wendy Reber directly at 570-789-4026.