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Be a hero, donate blood

June 15, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Eight hundred donations a week. That's how many volunteers need to roll up their sleeves each week to help Lee Health maintain the blood supply required for patient care.

That's a pretty high unit number and meeting it can be a challenge, especially in the summer when many of our seasonal residents aren't here and donations drop by 30 percent or more.

Blood is, literally, life. It's needed not only for trauma patients but for a variety of medical procedures including surgeries and treatments.

And a little can go a long way.

Just one donation can help three patients in need because that pint can be separated into components - red blood cells, plasma and platelets.

This weekend, United Way, in conjunction with Lee Health Blood Center, will host a "Be a Hero" blood drive.

The drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with collections sites offered at the Winn-Dixie parking lot at 1016 Cape Coral Parkway here in the Cape and at the United Way Main Campus at 7273 Concourse Drive in Fort Myers.

The goal is to collect 200 units - a substantial amount but just a drop in the bucket toward this month's need.

We urge those who can to turn out - and that's most of us as almost anyone can donate blood.

Blood donors just have to weigh at least 115 pounds; be 17 years old or older (16 with parental consent) and have a photo ID if new to the donor process. Most medications do not preclude one from baring an arm.

The procedure is fairly quick and relatively painless - and it can not only save lives but provides some health benefits to the donor to boot as you get a "mini physical" that checks pulse rate, blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin level, blood type and cholesterol level as part of the process.

If you can't make Saturday's drive, there are numerous donation locations that can accommodate most any schedule.

Here in the Cape, blood donations can be made at Cape Coral Hospital, 636 Del Prado Blvd., Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Tuesday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Other locations include:

* Lee Memorial Hospital 2776 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers, Phone: 239-343-2333 Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

* Summerlin Crossings 15880 Summerlin Road, Suite 113, Fort Myers, 33908 Phone: 239-437-5061 Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

* Bonita Community Health Center 3501 Health Center Blvd., Suite 2011, Bonita Springs, Phone: 239-495-4372 Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

For businesses and organizations looking to help, the Lee Memorial Blood Mobile can come to you.

The center provides everything needed to host a blood drive.

We speak from experience when we say they are both helpful and professional. To schedule the blood mobile, call 239-343-2333.

Blood donations remain in Lee Health's four acute care hospitals - Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital, which houses the only Trauma Center within a five-county radius. Blood also benefits patients at Lee Health's specialty hospitals including Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.

United Way urges us all to "Be a hero! Donate blood!"

Well said.

- Breeze editorial



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