Photo by Heather Middleton
By Kathy Jefcoats
Clayton County Sheriff's Deputy Steven McLean is an old pro at giving blood, but a little fuzzy on his type."I think it's O-positive, but I am not sure," he said as an American Red Cross technician swabbed his arm with an antiseptic solution Wednesday, and prepared to insert a needle to draw blood.
As long as it's red and healthy, the American Red Cross will take it.
Summer is traditionally a slow time for blood donations but is typically when it is needed the most, officials said. The Clayton County Sheriff's Office sponsored a blood drive Wednesday to help offset low supplies in the metro area. Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said his department is proud to be of service.
"It is our privilege to support the Red Cross," he said. "The contributions of the men and women of the sheriff's office go far beyond their public safety duties."
Other blood drives are planned in the Southern Crescent as well. The Clayton County Police Department will host a blood drive today, from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m., at its Jonesboro headquarters at 7911 North McDonough St.
Bruster's on Mt. Zion Blvd. in Jonesboro will hold a blood drive Monday, July 4, from 1 p.m., to 6 p.m. The American Red Cross Donor Center on Southcrest Parkway, in Stockbridge, is open for donations by appointments at www.redcrossblood.org.
Blood donors typically get a snack following their donations, but during this summer they can also enter a drawing to win a $3,000 gift card.
Donors must meet basic eligibility requirements including age, height and weight. Donors should be in good health. Whole blood donations can be given every 56 days, but platelets can be donated every seven days; plasma every 28 days and double red cells every 112 days. Other donation restrictions apply.
Information on other restrictions pertaining to allergies, medications, pregnancy, piercing and tattoos and health conditions can be found on the American Red Cross web site.
As Wednesday's blood drive wound down at the sheriff's office, Kimbrough said he was pleased with the response.
"I'm proud of my deputies, officers and support staff for giving the gift of life," he said.