— By TYLER MASK
This month, March 3, Palo Pinto General Hospital is putting on its bimonthly whole blood, blood drive. During this time, Carter BloodCare comes to Mineral Wells, setting up shop at PPGH, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and at First United Methodist Church, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. All blood types are needed. “Blood is something that is not replaced with anything else,”
Palo Pinto General Hospital Blood Drive Chairman Pat Talkington said. “Only people can give blood, and every day there are at least 1100 people that are in need of blood through Carter BloodCare. We try to help over here with our six drives a year.”
To make things better, PPGH has added platelet donations to their repertoire during the blood drive's off months, meaning PPGH, in cooperation with CBC, has donations going all year-round. People that have been injured or struck by certain diseases are just a few that benefit from donations.
“There are just a lot of times that some people don't make enough blood and have to have transfusions on a regular basis,” Talkington said. “And those are the reasons we need to be regular donors.”
Contrary to what some might believe, blood donations during times of crisis – although useful in the future – aren't what's needed because blood must go through extensive testing before it is usable.
For this reason, Talkington suggests being proactive when giving blood. “Blood is only good if it's available at the time it's needed,” Talkington said. “If we have a bad accident, like 9/11, the blood that was available was what was used.
The people that came to give, it was wonderful because it helped to rebuild the stock, but that's also after the fact.” PPGH receives blood from CBC, so those who donate may secretly help a friend.
The blood ultimately goes wherever it is needed most. For those wanting to donate with concerns about medications, call CBC at 1-800-donate4 or consult your local physician.