Iolan Jeannie Cloud quietly crossed a milestone Wednesday. She donated her 100th pint of blood.
Cloud has been donating blood “off and on since I was 18,” she said.
“It makes me feel good to do this. Besides,” she said jokingly, “I can lose a pound this way — at least for a day.” One pint of blood, the amount collected, weighs about that much.
Cloud also noted that she has “special blood that can be given to cancer patients and babies.” She is considered a universal donor, plus is CMV-negative.
Cytomegalovirus is “a virus that most people carry in their blood and I don’t have it,” Cloud explained, “So my blood can be given to very sick people.” CMV poses no problem for those in good health, but can cause problems in immunocompromised individuals. If processed within a day of drawing it, CMV negative blood can be vital to such people.
While it takes only about eight minutes for the actual blood draw, the entire donation process, including intake interview, takes about 45 minutes, said CBC phlebotomist Lisa Rothwell. Intake includes a medical history review critical to ensuring the blood collected is safe, she said.
The drives are every eight weeks at the North Community Building. A good response has lead Iola to win a Community Star award from the CBC. Star awards are given to those centers that exceed CBC collection goals and hold at least six drives per year. Allen County Hospital Auxiliary blood drive chairwoman B. Ellen Smith will accept recognition for Iola’s efforts at an awards ceremony in Topeka in April.
Smith said the Auxiliary has always organized the drives. “Don’t ask me for how many years,” she said.
Allen County Hospital also gets all its blood products from the CBC, she noted. The Kansas City, Mo., CBC office serves 73 hospitals in eastern Kansas and Missouri.
Wednesday’s drive netted 57 pints.
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