Jeff Miller is giving a gift to the Montgomery area. Je's a regular donor with LifeSouth. He says, "I usually give once a month and the main reason I give to to help people who have cancer and stuff like that."
All of the blood supplied here supports all of the hospitals in our area. Once it's been donated, it's just a short walk for processing....literally going from one building to the next."
Leitha Boutwell is the LifeSouth Technical Manager. She says, "The blood comes in here. We take it straight over to the blood components processing area." "It goes from here and we put it in plastic bags and put them in these central fudges. They spin for about 4 minutes."
That spinning separates the whole blood into plasma and packed cells. Plasma is frozen and can last up to a year for someone with a bleeding disorder. Packed cells go to someone whose is bleeding and has a shelf life of about 40 days in a refridgerator. Cyrio is a concentrated clotting factor and it's also kept locally.
Turn around time from donation to availabiliy is 24 hours. And that includes a small vial for testing for various diseases. Boutwell says that includes, "HIV, hepatitis, hep b hep c, and West Nile Virus."
She says it takes 500 units a week just to supply the hospitals. And right now they are down to about 170 units. While those supplies are low, but the need is high. Boutwell adds, "This time of the year is extremely critical."
Tim Burnett is a management specialist at LifeSouth. He works here for a reason. He was diagnosed with Hodgkins at age 12. He says, "From the chemo, my blood counts were wiped out and so without the transfusions I probably wouldn't have made it."
His past cancer precludes him from giving, but he says he talks to friends to encourage them to give..... And help someone, maybe like him, live.