Blood has been requested by the U.S. Department of Defense from America's Blood Centers, which includes the Siouxland Community Blood Bank as a member.
The regular monthly blood drive in Le Mars will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in conference room #1 of Floyd Valley Hospital. From 3 to 5:30 p.m. the drive continues at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
The blood collected serves 27 hospitals in Siouxland's regular area but may also supplement the military's blood supply. While the military collects its own blood and relies foremost on that supply for its troops, America's Blood Centers members were prepared to fulfill part of the military's needs not already met.
"Our centers will make sure their supplies are adequate to meet all needs, but they also must not have too much blood at once," said Jim MacPherson, chief of America's Blood Centers.
Red blood cells have a 42-day shelf-life. Platelets last only five days, so the supply must constantly be replaced.
Who can donate blood:
* At least 17 years of age,
* Weigh over 110 pounds,
* In general good health,
* No new tattoo in past year,
* Not pregnant,
* Not on antibiotics for 24 hours,
* Not donated in 56 days,
* Not at risk for an infectious disease.
On most allergy medication or shots, it is all right to donate, according to blood bank officials. Most medications are not a problem. Diabetics, if well controlled by oral medication or insulin, are allowed to donate blood. During menstruation, a woman should use her own discretion.
How to donate:
1. The donor is asked to provide a brief, confidential medical history to protect the health of both the donor and the recipient. 2. A mini-physical, which includes taking a temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. A drop of blood is taken from the finger first to test iron levels.
3. The actual blood donation takes about 15 minutes, according to Janette Twait, executive director. While the donor relaxes in a reclining chair, his or her arm is cleansed. A new, sterile needle is inserted into the donor's arm. The donor may be asked to squeeze his or her hand to help about one pint of the blood flow from the vein into the blood bag.
4. Wait afterwards to recover, eat a cookie and drink juice supplied.