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NMC Lab Earns Platinum Award from American Red Cross

Mar 17, 2010 8:00 pm  |  Permalink

St. Albans, Vt-- Northwestern Medical Center has been awarded a Platinum level award for its successful participation in the American Red Cross’ Life Share program in 2009. The Platinum level is the highest achievement possible in the Life Share program, and is awarded to organizations with a participation rate (organization’s blood units donated/organization’s population) of greater than 30 percent.

In 2009, Northwestern Medical Center held three Blood Drives in the hospital’s conference center. In total, 112 units of blood were collected. The NMC Blood Drives, while open to the public, are mostly attended by NMC staff, volunteers, and physicians.

Gale Soltys, NMC’s Blood Bank Specialist, says, “We use 900-1,000 units of red blood cells yearly and a number of other products, which vary year to year.”

Soltys adds that blood donations are a vital component of lifesaving treatments provided in hospitals every day. According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. The good news for blood donors is that the collection process is safe, and that one donation of blood can help save the lives of up to three people. Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.

“Any time is a good time to donate blood,” says Soltys. “Giving blood truly is the gift of life. There is no way to manufacture blood, so we need the help of the community to continue to support a healthy blood supply for people who need it.

For more information on blood donation opportunities in your local community, please visit www.redcrossblood.org/NNE.