Battle boosts blood supply

Published 3:35 pm Friday, December 31, 2021

We love a little bit of friendly competition that’s for a good cause, so there’s nothing not to love about the recent “Battle of the Badges” blood drive held on Tuesday.

The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office, Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue and Suffolk Police Department each promoted the event and had representatives show up to give blood. The blood drive was also open to the public, of course, who were able to choose which public safety department to support when they checked in for their donation.

In the end, the Sheriff’s Office beat the others handily, but the real winners were all of the donors, local citizens, as well as those who will be in need of those donations in the coming days and weeks.

Sheriff E.C. Harris has promised he’ll give his colleagues in the fire and police departments plenty of opportunity for rematches, so we hope to see more turnout in the future to help supply blood for those in need.

It’s commonly cited that each whole blood donation helps save up to three lives. Many people need blood products from time to time, including trauma patients, cancer patients, those with certain chronic illnesses including Sickle Cell Disease, burn patients, and more. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, yet less than 38% of the population is eligible to give blood.

As the pandemic continues, the Red Cross is assuring folks that they can still donate after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. There is no need to wait after receiving any of the three vaccines currently available in the United States. However, anyone with a recent positive test for COVID-19, or even just the symptoms of it, is asked to wait to donate. Lots of precautions are being taken at donation centers and blood drives, including a mask requirement for all donors and staff.

For more information on donating blood, visit redcrossblood.org.