One exists in the comic books and across the silver screen. The other battles real fires and lives next door. Both are heroes in the eyes of a child.
Firefighter Jack and Bruce Wayne both dedicated their lives to saving others.
Tim Wilson of Blood Assurance offered another route for those still hoping to find their inner super hero.
He said the area blood supply is low due to decreased donations and an increased demand from local hospitals and health facilities.
Blood Assurance’s daily goal is 440 units of blood. Average daily donations reach 320 to 350.
“When that drops to 100 or 200 in a day, that is not a good situation,” Wilson said. “At any given time we want to be five or six days ready for blood. We are down to a one or two-day supply when the blood supply goes extremely low.”
He said Blood Assurance is currently at a two-day supply.
Scott’s Bikes on Georgetown Road agreed to host a blood drive on Monday, Feb. 24, from noon to 5 p.m. for two reasons.
First, to meet the need of Blood Assurance.
Second, to meet the need of Kevin Scoggins, a local mountain-biking enthusiast battling Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
According to a press release on the bike shop’s website, Scoggins is quite literally in the fight of his life.
“The doctors killed all of his bone marrow in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. As a result, his body cannot make blood until after the transplant.”
All blood donated will count toward the blood he needs.
However, Wilson explained not all the blood will go directly to Scoggins. The blood donated will merely count as credit for when Scoggins needs blood transfusions. Patients at the 70 hospitals and medical facilities supplied by Blood Assurance will use the donations.
Wilson said one person can use hundreds of pints of blood before the bleeding can be sealed off.
Patients in route to a hospital in an ambulance are given O-negative blood as it is the universal donor. Blood types A, B and AB, both positive and negative, can receive the blood. Only O-negative blood types can receive O-negative blood.
On the other end of the spectrum, AB can receive any blood type, but can only be used by other AB blood types.
Wilson explained it is important to keep the blood inventory stocked with enough units of every blood in order to meet each blood type’s needs.
Donors interested in coming out during the drive can either donate two pints on the ALYX machine or one pint on the whole blood machine. Two pints can be donated over 112 days. One pint may be donated ever 56 days.
Wilson explained the ALYX machine separates the plasma and platelets from the red cells. The plasma and platelets, “come back to you through the same needle.” Saline is also pumped into the donor’s system at the same time through the same needle. The saline ensures the body’s fluid volume does not decrease.
The whole blood donation takes one pint of blood directly from the circulatory system. The physical act of donating blood takes approximately 10 minutes. Questions and administrations before the donation can tack on an additional 20.
Both Wilson and David Coulter of Scott’s Bikes encouraged community residents to support the blood drive.
“Donating blood is donating the gift of life,” Coulter said. “I am not thrilled about needles, but the overwhelming thought in my head is when I donate blood, I am saving someone else’s life. How far am I willing to step outside of my comfort zone to save someone’s life.”
Coulter continued, “I am ensuring that daddy is going to go home to his family, because of my gift. I am ensuring mom is still going to be there to tuck in the kids. I am ensuring that kid has an opportunity to grow up.”
Debunked myths about donating blood can be found at Bloodassurance.org. Some examples include: I can’t donate blood because I had cancer; I can’t give blood because I’m on medication; I can’t give blood because I’m anemic; I can’t give blood because I’m diabetic; and I can’t give blood because I’ve been out of the country.
Donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds. Wilson said there is not an age cap provided the donor is of good health.
Bone marrow transplant testing will also be available for those who want to see if they are a match for Scoggins or someone else suffering from cancer.
The Blood Assurance donation van will be parked outside of Scott’s Bikes located at 2544 Georgetown Road N.W. from noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24. The shop can be reached at 472-9881.
Wilson and Coulter encouraged residents to come out and donate in an effort to save lives.
“When each of us goes and donates blood that gives families a future,” Coulter said. “That gives individuals a future.”