Civic club sponsoring blood drive next week
Tonganoxie area residents will have an opportunity next week to help replenish the area's blood supply.
The Civic Club is sponsoring a blood drive from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the United Methodist Church, 328 E. Fourth St.
"We've been having a real tough time keeping blood on the shelf," said Chris Braudis, director of donor recruitment for Community Blood Center, Kansas City, Mo., the agency operating the drive.
Noting a 6 percent increase in blood usage from a year ago, Braudis said that advancements in medical technology play a part of the growing need.
"Probably the biggest reason is the ongoing use of blood for cancer patients and their treatments," Braudis said. "They need more blood during their chemotheraphy and different treatments like that to help them fight the disease."
And of course, there are vehicle accidents caused by winter weather conditions.
"We've had a lot of car accidents, things like that," Braudis said. "We've had several lately that have used from 25 to 30 units of type-O blood. That really takes a beating on the blood supply when that happens."
Particularly needed is type O blood, both negative and positive, Braudis said.
Braudis has high hopes for next week's blood drive.
"Our goal for this drive is 55 units," he said. "Which means we'd have to have around 65 to 70 people come in."
Dr. Richard Dean, an optometrist who has chaired the local blood drive for about 20 years, is aware of the need for donations.
"Usually, especially at this time of year there's a shortage of blood because of the flu," Dean said. '' Our community has been very supportive of the blood drives."
The Community Blood Center holds blood drives in a 60-county area in Missouri and Kansas and serves 75 hospitals in that area. Braudis said blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh more than 110 pounds and be in good health.
For more information or to sign up, call Dean at 845-2164 or 845-2030.