By Charly SHELTON
The need for blood donations always seems to be high, but it is even more so in the summer months. More cars on the road mean more accidents, more injuries and an increased need for donor blood to save the lives of those who might otherwise die. In response, the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and the Huntington Hospital Blood Donation Center will be hosting a blood donation drive on Wednesday, July 29. The mobile donation center vehicle will be on-site in the CV Sheriff’s parking lot to accept donations.
“My motto is, ‘If you can donate, you should donate,’” said Jackie Baca-Geary, blood donor recruiter at Huntington Hospital. “Not everybody can medically or [because they’ve] traveled to places that would restrict a donation, [or they have a fear of needles] but I think it’s the one kind of donation that you can do that crosses all barriers.”
She added that though people may not have money to donate to their favorite charity, donating blood is a “great way to give back.”
The summer is a slower time for blood donations, said Baca-Geary, because people are out of town, they skip their summer donations, school donations are smaller with fewer students enrolled in summer school and so on. The heat in Southern California is also a factor in gathering donations. Whereas many places across America lost a lot of donations due to last winter’s inclement weather, according to the Red Cross, California has lost time during the warm months.
“We did have kind of a record low last year if you look at the number of units collected, we were lower,” said Baca-Geary. “We did much better in 2013 then we did in 2014. We had to close down a couple of drives because it was too hot.”
She said that donating blood when it’s hot outside could cause donors to pass out or feel sick after they donate.
“We were at the L.A. County Fair one time [collecting donations] and we made it through the day but it was just so hot,” she said. “If the environment we’re in reaches a certain degree by FDA regulations we have to close down.”
The donation day is forecast, as of press time, to be between 80° at 10 a.m., when the drive begins, and 87° at 4:30 p.m. when the drive ends. For those interested in donating, Baca-Geary suggests plenty of hydration the day before and the day of, and to eat a good breakfast. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are being taken as well through Deputy Jesse Alcala at CV Sheriff’s Station. He can be reached at (818) 236-4021.