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Barton Community College to host blood drive
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Barton Community College will host a blood drive from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Kirkman Student Activity Center. All donors will receive a free T-shirt.

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.

A few of the reasons a person may not be able to give blood include:

• 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.

• Pregnancy

• Tattoo – if applied at state regulated facility. If not, must wait 12 months.

• Travel outside the United States in countries having high risk of malaria.

The day before donating blood, it is recommended to begin drinking extra fluids, especially drinks providing electrolyte supplements, such as Gatorade. 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.