By Johnny Jackson
McDonough resident Chad Butterfield has been a regular blood donor for LifeSouth Community Blood Centers for about five years.
"I was actually scared of needles," said Butterfield. "I thought I'd try it. It was very easy, after the first time. I found out I was a very easy bleeder -- I can fill a bag up in about five minutes. And I get my Nutter Butters [cookies]."
The 32-year-old senior lab analyst at the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority said he makes a point of donating at least four times a year to LifeSouth.
"I know that it helps out our community, and they keep the blood in the community," said Butterfield, who took part in LifeSouth's "end-of-the-year push" mobile blood drive on New Year's Eve, at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in McDonough. He was among 45 donors to give blood, said Jil Osborne, donor consultant with LifeSouth.
"It was a huge day for us," Osborne said. "It was very impressive."
The donor consultant said the 45 whole blood donations outpaced the previous year's donations of 27.
Osborne noted each unit, or pint, of whole blood has the potential to save up to three lives, when divided into red blood cells, platelets and plasma. She said the figure translates into potentially 135 lives saved with the 45 units collected New Year's Eve.
LifeSouth is a sole provider of blood to Henry Medical Center, and will partner with the hospital on Feb. 8, when it hosts its winter blood drive, added Osborne. The drive will be held from 11 a.m., until 5 p.m., in the hospital's executive dining room, said Michelle Nunnally, public relations coordinator at Henry Medical Center. The hospital's dining room is located on the ground floor of the South Tower, at 1133 Eagle's Landing Pkwy. in Stockbridge.
To give blood, donors must be in good health, 17 years or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, not have donated blood within the last 56 days, and show a valid photo I.D. Officials recommend donors eat a snack, or meal, within the two hours prior to donating blood.
Osborne said there will be opportunities to donate weeks in advance, at LifeSouth's Southern Crescent Donor Center, located at 329 Westridge Pkwy., in McDonough. It is open daily for blood donations.
LifeSouth's next mobile blood drive will be held Jan. 15, at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, located at 135 Willow Lane in McDonough. The drive will be held from 11 a.m., until 4 p.m.
To learn more about upcoming blood drives supporting the Henry Medical Center, call Nunnally at (678) 604-1026, or Osborne at (770) 432-0637.