By Brad Bauer
The Marietta Times
BRAD BAUER The Marietta Times
Marietta Memorial Hospital blood donor collection specialist LeAnn Moore prepares to take blood from MMH employee Rachael Burns Tuesday as the hospital encouraged employees and the public to participate in World Blood Donor Day. Hospital officials say the demand for blood is at its highest during summer months, a time when donations are generally low.
Like clockwork, Devola resident Joe Gray heads to a local blood bank every two months to donate blood and hopefully save a life.
It's a routine that Gray, 68, has had for nearly 50 years. At a pint for each visit, he estimates he's given more than 40 gallons of blood over the years.
"It's just something I started doing when I was in the service and I continued after I got out," Gray said. "It's a simple and easy thing to do and very important for the person on the receiving end."
The Marietta Memorial Hospital will bring its Blood Mobile to these locations in June:
Heartland: 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday
Harmar Place: 1 to 6 p.m. Friday
Muskingum Valley Rehab Block Party: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
K of C Hall in Churchtown: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday
Wayne Street Medical Campus: Noon to 4 p.m. June 22
Chesterhill VFD: 5 to 9:30 p.m. June 23
Marietta Care and Rehab Center: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24
The Arbors: Noon to 4 p.m. June 28
M & M VFD: 4 to 8:30 p.m. June 29
MMH First Floor Conference Room: 1 to 8 p.m. June 30
Tuesday was World Blood Donor Day and to celebrate, Marietta Memorial Hospital encouraged employees and the public to give blood.
The first blood donor day was held in 2004. The date of June 14 was chosen in honor of the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the 1930 Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine for his discovery in 1901 of the blood groups.
Wendy Shriver, hospital community relations coordinator, said donations are especially important during the summer.
"This is the time of year when we see a lot more traumas," she said. "And it's also the time of year when people are on vacation or out doing things and they tend to forget about us. Donations are generally at their lowest in the summer."
Shriver said the hospital generally uses about 300 units of blood each month but has been averaging about 150 units from donors. The extra blood has to be purchased from outside sources.
Hospital phlebotomist Rachael Burns gave up part of her day to donate blood on Tuesday.
"I stick people all day, so I thought it was only fair that I take a turn," she said. "And I know this is going to help someone."
Shriver said one blood donation can save three lives.
"The plasma, platelets and red blood cells can all be separated and go to different people," she said.
Dr. Matthew Macatol, who oversees the hospital's blood bank, said demand has increased dramatically in recent years as the Strecker Cancer Center has continued to expand and add new patients.
"They are treating more patients and many of those treatments result in the need for blood," he said.