Donating blood can save fellow yoopers’ lives

For all animals in the biological kingdom, including the homo sapiens species, blood is the physical essence of life. While all animals have blood, some animals are more equal than others in their need for blood.

So human societies have created systems for redistributing blood, harvesting it from some who have blood to spare and transfusing it to those with a greater need to literally preserve their life. The medical advancement of blood donation is one of the many reasons why human life dominates planet Earth.

Blood is always needed, but January is the month in which extra reminders are made to increase awareness of the vital importance of donating blood.

“Human blood is one product that medical technology cannot produce in a laboratory,” said Sallie Coron, coordinator of blood collections at U.P. Regional Blood Center in Marquette. “Without a human blood supply, the medical community has no other options for potentially lifesaving procedures.”

U.P. Regional Blood Center serves all four hospitals in the Copper Country: Laurium, Hancock, Ontonagon and L’Anse, so giving blood to the center is in effect giving the gift of life to neighbors in your community and fellow U.P. residents.

Because there is no such thing as synthetic blood, your donation is essential to literally keep some people alive. Some people, with conditions like leukemia, need a blood transfusion every couple of months just to stay alive.

Every little bit helps in big ways. One pint of donated blood can help several people.

One reason why January is National Blood Donor Awarness Month is that donations tend to drop off during the holiday season, when people are not in their normal routines, and due to colds and illnesses during the winter.

One trend causing concern is the donor base is aging, which could cause a reduction in future blood supplies, so a focus of the awareness campaign is highlighting the need for younger donors.

Young people should know there are many young people with life-threatening conditions like leukemia who need donated blood to survive.

A person can donate at age 17, or 16 with parental permission.

Donating is as easy as calling your local hospital and making an appointment. The center also will assist in organizing blood drives for community groups and families.

We all have a personal blood supply. Are you willing to share it?