HIBBING — Blood is essential to life. It delivers nutrients and oxygen to cells. It’s the first defense for infections, and helps heal wounds.
Blood is a renewable resource created in the body. Because of this, it is also a resource that can be shared for those in need.
One of 3 people will need blood in their lifetime, according to Memorial Blood Centers. Since blood cannot be synthetically made, there is no substitute.
The Minnesota-based, independent nonprofit contends that every 2 seconds a person will need blood.
“The need for blood is constant, the supply is not,” said Michele Keil of Memorial Blood Centers.
“We rely on generous volunteers from the Range to help us meet the needs of patients in Northland hospitals.”
Giving blood is a short, safe procedure.
“Donating blood is a safe, simple, and quick process,” reads the Memorial Blood Centers website. “You can’t get infectious diseases from donating blood. All needles are sterile, used only once, and then discarded.”
There are two Memorial Blood Centers donor centers on the Iron Range.
In Hibbing, the center is located at Fairview Plaza, 1200 E. 25th St., Suite 204. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Tuesdays.
In Virginia, the center is located at Essentia Health-Virginia, 901 Ninth St. N. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fridays.
While walk-ins are always welcome, appointments can be made in advance at www.mbc.org or by calling 1-888-GIVE-BLD.
“We especially need donations from donors with the following blood types: O negative, O positive, and B negative,” Keil said.
Community-sponsored blood drives occur at various locations throughout the Range communities throughout the year.
More information can be found at www.mbc.org.
Four steps to donation:
Once you arrive for your appointment, there are just four easy steps to the donation process:
Registration: You will be asked to verify your name, address and birthdate, present your photo identification to verify age eligibility, and review thoroughly the educational materials provided. Students 16 years old must provide a completed and signed Parental Consent form.
Mini-physical: Your pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and hemoglobin count will be checked. A confidential interview conducted by a trained specialist from Memorial Blood Centers, will gather information about your general health, medical history, foreign travel, and risk behaviors, as required by the FDA. Your answers help determine your eligibility to be a blood donor.
Blood donation: Collecting a unit of blood — about one pint out of the 10 to 12 your body contains — takes approximately 10 minutes. You will sit in a comfortable chair and answer a few questions. Blood is drawn for your donation, along with several small tubes that are collected for laboratory tests. The equipment used is sterile, used only once, and then discarded.
Relaxation: After your donation, refreshments and a snack are yours to enjoy as you relax, for as long as you feel necessary. You will be encouraged to drink plenty of liquids.