Barton Community College will host a blood drive in conjunction with the American Red Cross from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Kirkman Student Activity Center.
The next schedule blood drive in Barton County will be from 11:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on March 4 at St. Rose Auditorium, 1412 Baker Ave.
The American Red Cross reports that on any given day, an average of 38,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the United States. There is no substitution for human blood; it cannot be manufactured.
If you plan on donating blood:
• The day prior, begin drinking extra fluids especially Gatorade or other brands providing electrolyte supplements. Good hydration will facilitate and make the process of giving blood easy.
• Eat a good breakfast or lunch prior to giving blood. Good hydration and good nutrition will help prevent lightheadedness and weakness associated with giving blood.
• Eat iron-rich foods to help provide good hemoglobin. Red meat, oysters, clams, soybeans, dried beans, peas, lentils, whole grain cereals and breads, prunes, dried fruit and liver are excellent sources of iron.
• Vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron, so eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits or juices, kiwi, cantaloupe, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, spinach and leafy greens like turnips and collard greens.
A few of the reasons you may not be able to give blood:
• Low blood pressure
• High blood pressure
• Fever, cough or other acute cold symptoms
• On antibiotics for an infection
• Body piercing — eligible if under sterile conditions. If questionable, required to wait 12 months
• Tattoo — if applied at state regulated facility. If not, must wait 12 months.
• Travel outside the U.S. in countries having high risk of malaria.