Be someone’s hero

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

I am a hero. I have saved lives. I have donated blood.

On Jan. 18, I received a call from the Associated Regional University Pathologists informing me that I could save a life if I donated blood. Naturally, I went right over.

ARUP estimates that 60 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but less than five percent do. Five percent of the U.S. population is providing blood for the 33 percent of the population that is in need of that blood. One would almost assume these were voting statistics, not statistics of those willing to save lives.

The need for blood is real and, anyone who is older than 18 and in good health can help fill this need. The donation of one person can be used to save the lives of three people-and one out of every three people will need a blood transfusion sometime in their life.

Blood and platelet donations are used to save the lives of accident victims, premature infants and people affected by brain aneurisms. Blood and platelet donations make surgery possible for those in need of bone marrow transplants, organ transplants and knee or hip replacements. Cancer patients have the greatest need for the blood donated to ARUP.

With one-in-three odds and the frequency of the above afflictions, either you or someone you know will need blood at some point. Is that not reason enough to donate?

ARUP meets the blood needs of four Utah hospitals. ARUP must receive, on average, 75 pints of blood and 25 donations of platelets a day to meet the demands of these hospitals.

That means that at least 100 individuals need to make a donation every day. Blood can be donated every 56 days, and platelets can be donated once a week, with a maximum of 24 times a year.

In addition to meeting the needs of the hospital, ARUP also needs to worry about meeting the needs of specific blood types. All blood types are needed, but those of you with O-negative blood are in higher demand because your blood can be given to anyone in need.

ARUP visits the Union and the LDS Institute of Religion frequently, but if they are to meet their quota, you need to donate. You also have the option of visiting their office in Research Park.

Concerned about the time it will take out of your busy schedule? The actual donation takes about 10 minutes, but plan for 30 to 45 for paperwork and snack time. In the end, you could save up to three people with 30 minutes of your time and a pint of your blood.

We do not need to leap over tall buildings to be heroes; we do not need to be firefighters or police officers. We just have to take the time to donate blood.

Next time you see an ARUP flyer saying that blood donations are taking place, stop in and save a life.

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