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May 2013 • Published in The Daily Press, Ashland WI

Preparing for Emergency Situations in the Ashland Community

As we watched the events of last month unfold in Boston and Texas, not only did our hearts ache for those affected, but Memorial Blood Centers also thinks about emergency preparedness for the communities we serve, and asked the question, “Would we be prepared?”

The answer is yes, but only with the continuous help and support from volunteer blood donors.

The fact is that the blood needed to treat patients at the time of a tragedy – like on 9/11/2001 in New York, NY and Washington, DC, on 7/20/2012 in Aurora, CO, and last month in Boston, MA and West, TX – was available because of blood that was donated prior to the tragedy.

Every two seconds someone needs blood, and because blood cannot be synthetically made, there is no substitute. Only a volunteer blood donor can save a life and we depend on those donors to fulfill the daily blood needs of hospitals. That’s why regular blood donations are essential in building up a reserve of blood products – our lifeline in an emergency situation. This reserve must be replenished each day.

An added benefit, an emergency supply also gives us the opportunity to help others. Last month, Memorial Blood Centers sent 19 units of O negative red cells to support the victims in Boston, and sent 14 units of AB plasma to help in caring for victims of the Texas fertilizer plant explosion.

Whether it’s an unforeseen attack on our nation or an unanticipated tragedy in a small community, waiting for a shortage or emergency to give blood is too late. As our community hospitals and its patients rely on us to deliver the right blood product when it is needed most, we continue to rely on you as a volunteer blood donor.

Plan now to donate and help meet the demand at Ashland’s Memorial Medical Center and other area hospitals while building up the community’s emergency reserve. Make an appointment online by visiting Donate Blood and clicking the Schedule Now button to schedule a donation at one of our Northland donor centers. You also can search by zip code for a community blood drive or schedule an appointment to donate in May at one of our donor centers most convenient to you.

Jed Gorlin, M.D. is Medical Director and Vice President, Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers. Elizabeth Perry, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Memorial Blood Centers.

Send us your questions at askthedoc@MBC.ORG.

Call us today 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about Memorial Blood Centers and how we partner with the Ashland community to save lives visit About Us. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.