COUNTY RESIDENTS URGED TO DONATE BLOOD DURING THE HOLIDAYS

COUNTY RESIDENTS URGED TO DONATE BLOOD DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Each August, Doña Ana County employees come together to donate blood in memory of former Community Planning Director Judith M. Price, who died at Memorial Medical Center in 2001. Last week, Glenna Telles of United Blood Services called the county’s Special Projects Office to ask whether an impromptu county blood drive could be arranged.

Due to scheduling conflicts, a traditional blood drive such as the annual August event could not be facilitated on short notice. A compromise scenario was reached, however, by which the majority of county employees were notified by internal e-mail that their help was needed.

United Blood Services estimates that its reserves are down to critical levels. They estimate a need for more than 400 pints of blood during the holiday period. Doña Ana County is using its space in At Your Service this week to ask the entire community to join with us – your county public servants – to give the gift of life.

Giving blood is a simple act of community compassion and involvement. The whole process normally takes less than an hour, but the benefits can literally save lives in our region. The staff at United Blood Services is well trained and extremely professional. They screen each applicant with a simple questionnaire and then allow qualified donors to take a seat in one of the comfortable recliners where the donations are processed.

All materials used in the donation process are sterile and disposable. You cannot contract any blood-borne disease by giving blood. All donated blood is typed to determine the A-B-O group and the Rh factor and then tested for safety, including a test for the HIV virus. Tainted blood is not distributed. Most units of accepted blood are separated into several components, allowing one donation to help several people.

United Blood Services is located at 2170 E. Lohman Ave. in Las Cruces. To make an appointment for a screening and donation, call first at (505) 527-1322. Each donor will receive a cookie and some juice, along with promotional materials to show to family and friends who might consider making a donation.

The elected officials, management and staff of Doña Ana County send out warm wishes this holiday season for a safe and joyous time with family and friends. During the last-minute hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday – the gift buying and decorating – please take a few minutes to call United Blood Services, make an appointment and give the greatest gift of all to someone whose holiday is not such a pleasant time.

Happy holidays.