Blood is vital to our lives, but sometimes we need to share a little bit of it with others! Blood Donor Day takes place on June 14th. It is a day to bring awareness for the need of blood. Every year, emergencies affect over 250 million people. This fact inspires this year’s slogan: “What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give Often.” Donating blood is very helpful for emergencies. Blood transfusions are very common in healthcare and having enough blood in stock is important to ensure that the best care possible is provided to patients.
Some benefits of blood for the recipient include helping the patient live longer, improving quality of life, and supporting surgeries when blood loss could be significant. A single donation of blood can save up to three people!
To be eligible to donate blood and platelets, you must be healthy and feeling well, be at least 17 years old in most states, and weigh at least 110 pounds. To be a Power Red donor (donating two units red blood cells and keeping your plasma and platelets), you must be healthy and feeling well, be at least 17 years old, be at least 5’1″ for males or 5’5″ for females, and weigh at least 130 pounds for males and 150 pounds for females. Keep in mind that some of these requirements may vary by case. Before you donate, you will have a mini physical to record your temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin to make sure your blood is safe to use. If you have any health conditions that you know of, check with your blood donor site to see if you are still eligible.
Please consider to donate blood! So many people are in need, and so many people can be saved!
“A traditional powwow is a time to celebrate and renew friendships. In addition, this powwow celebrates the educational experiences of American Indian higher education and the sharing of tribal cultures in the FM area.”
This year is the 28th annual Woodlands and High Plains Powwow. The Powwow is held at Nemzek from 1 to 9 tomorrow. The powwow will have a variety of dancing and drum songs from the area tribes. The community is encouraged to come and enjoy the cultural display and learn. In addition to the music and dancing there will be a hand games tournament and many vendors selling wares from their tribes.
The Celebration of Nations will also be held in the CMU tomorrow. Students and community members from cultures around the world will be here to get together. The celebration is kicked off with a parade of flags. Following that, students will have cooked some of their meals from home that are available to sample with dancing and music being played at this time. The celebration will end after a fashion show highlighting the dress and attire from around the world.
Celebration of Nations
Woodland and High Prairie Powwow
We all know the symptoms of a heart attack, right? You clutch your left shoulder/arm and collapse. If you have a tendency for the dramatics, you’ll fall to your knees before you go all the way down, making eye contact and reaching for someone. Seems kind of sudden, out of the blue, right? What most people don’t know is that there are more symptoms that can start days or even weeks before the actual attack. Bet you didn’t know that symptoms are also different for men and women.
The four symptoms that are commonly reported for both sexes are pain, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat and fatigue. The rest of the symptoms can occur in both genders, but each is more likely to experience a certain set of aches and pains. Like for example, men are more likely to feel pain in the right side of their chest, experience indigestion and only feel a dull ache instead of a throbbing pain. On the other side of the spectrum, women are more likely to experience bouts of vomiting, feel a pressing on their chest, experience a sharp pain in the middle of their back or feel pain in their neck, throat or mouth.
Now what else do you think you know about heart attacks and heart disease? You probably know that they are in the top ten killers of Americans, but what is their actual spot? 8th? 5th? The number one killer of Americans is heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. Number 4 is strokes, another heart disease. Cancer is the most thought of, but it is actually in 2nd. What is dangerous about not knowing this is, that unlike cancer, you have a short window to get to the hospital to minimize the damage done by a heart attack. It has been estimated that 80% of deaths caused by heart attacks and strokes were avoidable, but the victim didn’t go to the hospital because they didn’t know the symptoms that were killing them.
The signs of a stroke are pretty universal in both sexes. They can be remembered with the acronym F.A.S.T.
- Face. Try to make exaggerated face motions, super smiles and frowns. Does one side droop?
- Arms. Try to raise your arms above your head. Is one of your arms drifting downwards?
- Speech. Try to say a simple phrase like ,”The quick brown fox jumped over the log”. Is your speech slurred or impaired?
- Time. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms call 9-1-1.
National Wear Red Day is the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s way of fighting back. On the first Friday of every February, they have their volunteers and anyone else that wants to wear red clothing. By having such a public presence, they are hoping to have people learn more about what affects their ticker. While this is targeted towards women with cardiovascular diseases, it is used as a fundraiser to drive research that will help everyone.
While the 3rd is just Wear Red Day, February is The American Heart Month. Visit the Wear Red page for more information about what you can do this month to help raise awareness.
This year, make a new years resolution that will help others. Giving blood is an easy way to help save a life. Every day hospitals need 44,000 donations for their cancer, burn and bone marrow transplant patients. Usually blood banks are able to have a moderate supply of blood on hand for nearby banks, but January is different. Most blood banks find that they are in short supply in the winter months with January being their low period. National Blood Donor Month was created to help bring their stores back up.
When you give blood, you are giving about 1 pint. Most adults have somewhere between 8 and 12 pints of blood in their system. There are 4 products that can be separated from your whole-blood donation; red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. With your 1 pint donation they are able to make 2 or 3 of these products to help individuals.
Of these 4 components, platelets expire the quickest. They have a life span of 5 days and are in need of constant supply. When donating you have the option to donate whole blood, or just platelets. When donating just the platelets it take longer, about 2 hours, but they return the other liquids and parts of your blood back into your body. By doing this, you give about 3 doses worth of platelets. If you give whole blood, they have to combine your platelets with those of 4 others in order to get a full dose.
The red cells from your donation can last about 42 days before they are too degraded and expire. On average 1.62 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year. They are dependent on these blood stores, especially after a chemotherapy session in order to keep themselves healthy. It is difficult to find them these donations because only 38% of the population is healthy enough or meet the requirements to donate blood. Of that 38% less than 10% give blood every year. The 3.8% of the population that are helping are given a time restraint. It takes about 56 days before they are healthy enough to give again. National Blood Donor month was created in the hopes that more people would help over come this time restraint and give blood.
Did you know?
- It took about 12 units of blood to help save Reagan. Over a dozen strangers gave the blood needed to keep him alive
- The first successful blood transfusion was given during the civil war. They didn’t know about blood types, so it was more luck that it worked than skill.
- If you live to be 72, there is a 90% chance you will have a blood transfusion.
- George Washington was purposefully bled to death. Physicians at the time thought that bleeding the “bad blood” out would get ride of a cold. Washington bled through about half his blood supply before he died.
- Elizabeth Bathory may be the root of vampire legends. This Hungarian Countess believed that if she bathed in young girls blood, it would restore her youth. She was finally charged with killing about 650 girls, but her family’s power prevented any retaliation against her.
This winter help take a stand against arthritis by running a 5K. Or walking if running isn’t quite your speed. The Jingle Bell Run is hosted every year by the Arthritis Foundation to help raise funds for arthritis research. Last year they raised over $4 million from runners that fund-raised and were sponsored. Where ever you are there is an event near you that you can be active in with there being over 100 sponsored events in the upcoming weeks. The run in Fargo is scheduled to happen tomorrow, December 3rd. Wear jingle bells or holiday themed outfits to add to the fun!
Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the country with it affecting over 50 million Americans, roughly 1 in 5 adults. Arthritis is a blanket term that refers to over 100 different joint pains or diseases. Some common symptoms that are shared between them are swelling, pain, stiffness and a decrease in the range of movement. Some common visible symptoms are knobby finger joints, but other damage can only be seen on an X-ray. Arthritis can affect different parts of the body besides your joints; the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin are all at risk.
Most people don’t think they have arthritis, they believe it is a later life disease so they deny the symptoms they are displaying. It is true that more than half of the people over the age of 65 have some form of arthritis, but what they don’t know is that 2/3 of all people diagnosed with arthritis are under 65. Over 300,000 kids under 18 have some form of arthritis, which further shows that it can afflict anyone at any time. While arthritis can be tricky to diagnose, if you are experiencing joint pain and even have the suspicion that you might be afflicted, contact your doctor.
There are several things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing a form of arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight decreases you chance of developing Osteoarthritis. Eating a healthy diet that’s low in sugar and alcohol significantly decreases the chance of gout, a dietary form of arthritis. Not smoking helps reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. While there is no cure for arthritis, there is a chance that the money that is donated at one of these runs could be what is needed for a breakthrough.
The National Family Partnership is taking a stand against the violence and destruction that drugs are causing across the country. What has started as a small movement to pay respect to fallen DEA officer, Enrique Camarena, has now grown into a nation wide event to spread awareness and participation in drug prevention activities. This week wear a red ribbon to show your support for the NFP’s goal of having every child grow up in a safe, healthy and drug-free environment.
One person can make a difference. For more information and to sign their pledge, click the link below.
Autoimmune diseases occur when the body attacks normal, healthy parts of the body. One type of autoimmune disease is immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). A person is diagnosed with ITP if their platelet count is lower than 100,000/microliter of blood and has no other reasons for low counts. Normal platelet counts range from 150,000-400,000/microliter of blood. Platelets are responsible for blood clotting which is important when we get cuts or other circulatory system trauma. Low platelet levels cause bleeding conditions including spontaneous bruising, tiny red dots on skin, and, in women, strong menses. More severe conditions are blood blisters in mouth and bleeding in the brain. ITP is usually the general diagnosis with low platelets, but there are over 200 main diagnoses, called secondary ITP.
There is no specific cause of ITP, and it can vary among individuals, but there are several treatment options. Each treatment option works differently on each individual and they also depend of the severity of the condition. Some of these treatments include antibiotics, chemotherapy, corticosteroids, platelet growth factors, and transfusions.
Transfusions are a common treatment option, but they cannot happen without platelet donations! Platelets are needed every 30 seconds for patients, and platelets must be used within 5 days. That is why is is important to encourage platelet donations as often as possible. You can donate platelets 24 times as the process is very different than donating blood. Each platelet donation can allow transfusions for 2-3 patients! In order to donate platelets, you must make an appointment. Donating platelets takes up to 3 hours (including health history and setting up equipment), but the chances of feeling sluggish afterwards is very slim (and it uses a smaller needle than the ones used for normal blood donations!). The closest location to donate platelets is located at United Blood Services in Fargo, ND. If you have questions or wish to make an appointment to donate, call United Blood Services at (800) 917-4929. Another thing to consider is that there are plenty of people who are unable to donate any blood due to their own autoimmune disorders, other health conditions. If you are unable to donate platelets, or if needles just aren’t your thing, you can make a monetary donation to support research and awareness by clicking on the following link.