The New Year often brings change -- a new resolution to be a better, healthier, happier individual. Finding an avenue to express this change for the New Year can sometimes be a daunting task. Individuals often seek significant changes in their lifestyle, but does it have to be such a drastic change to make a difference? This year resolve to help others by rolling up your sleeve and donating blood.
January is recognized as National Blood Donor Month to raise awareness of this vital, life-saving need. This month, Sampson Regional’s Blood Donor Center will hold an Open House on January 10th, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. to bring awareness to the vital need of donors and to recognize current donors for their support over the years. According to SampsonRMC’s Director of Laboratory Services, Natalie Lamb, the new year brings a time to reflect on successes from the previous year and look for ways to grow the existing program. “We are very fortunate to collect between 1,300-1,400 units each year from donations collected at our Center and at onsite blood drives hosted by local businesses and schools. However, with each year, the patient need steadily increases which is why we are continually looking to grow our donor base,” said Lamb.
By becoming a blood donor, you become part of a larger movement that is helping others right here in Sampson County. “Each blood recipient is someone’s daughter or son, mother or father, brother or sister, friend or loved one. Help us make sure our blood supply is adequate when you or someone you know needs blood,” Lamb continued.
Lamb encourages both current donors and the community to come to the open house and join in the celebration. “We want to thank our donors and celebrate their support of our mission in helping our local community. Please join us as we celebrate you, our donors, on January 10th, at Sampson Regional’s Blood Donor Center, located inside the Outpatient Diagnostics Center at 233 Beaman Street,” she said.
On the heels of the open house, Sampson Regional’s Blood Donor Center will hold an onsite blood drive January 17th, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to kick off the New Year. “Our theme for our drive is ‘Rock & Roll-up Your Sleeve’. We enjoy making our blood drives fun for our donors and this one will be no less.” With rocking music, food, decorations, and donor gift, donors are sure to have a good time while starting the new year off right by helping others.
Donations are in short supply over the winter months due to holidays, illness, inclement weather, and travel, but that doesn’t mean that the need is any less. SampsonRMC is one of only a few hospitals in the state that provides most all of its blood supply. While SampsonRMC is not experiencing an extreme shortage at this time, it is imperative that a consistent supply is ready for patients suffering from cancer or anemia, along with any traumas or surgeries that may arise.
Sampson Regional Medical Center is in need of donors for all blood types. Resolve to donate and help others during the onsite blood drive scheduled for Thursday, January 17, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in SampsonRMC’s third floor classroom. Donors, both new and current, can give during this walk-in event or schedule for other times at SampsonRMC’s Blood Donor Center located conveniently inside the Outpatient Diagnostics Center.
Donors can make appointments for blood donations to fit their schedule by visiting www.SampsonRMC.org/blooddonor. By visiting this site, donors can submit a request for more information on blood donor services, schedule an onsite blood drive, or schedule a request for an individual donation time. Sampson Regional Medical Center’s Blood Donor Center is conveniently located inside the Outpatient Diagnostics Center at 233 Beaman Street and is open Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., extended hours on the second Tuesday of each month, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m, and recently added 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on the third Friday of each month for individual donations. Hours on Thursday may be adjusted due to scheduled community blood drives. While appointments are not necessary, it is recommended to call and reserve a time that is convenient for the donor.
Donors must meet the following requirements before becoming a blood donor.
The hospital’s AABB accredited blood bank is not affiliated with the American Red Cross. The blood bank relies on blood donations from people who live or work in Sampson County and who give directly to SampsonRMC. When community members give, their donation is used locally at SampsonRMC to help patients who are often their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.
Donors may reach the scheduling department for SampsonRMC’s Blood Donor Center at 910-596-5417. Most blood donations last approximately 45 minutes. Donors are eligible every eight weeks to give blood. SampsonRMC is also scheduling onsite blood drives for any organization within the community. Any business, school, church, or other organization may get involved by contacting Natalie Lamb, Director of Laboratory Services at 910-590-8708.