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Mike Cote's Business Editor's Notebook: Resolving to give blood more often in 2018

By MIKE COTE
January 13. 2018 11:18PM
American Red Cross workers take blood from volunteers at the 27th annual Gail Singer Memorial Blood Drive at the Radisson in Manchester in 2011. The winter storm two weeks ago led to the cancellation of five blood drives in New Hampshire, the Red Cross said. (David Lane/Union Leader)
Where to give blood this week
The American Red Cross has the following blood drives scheduled in New Hampshire this week. To check the for blood drives near you via zip code, visit redcrossblood.org.

BELKNAP COUNTY:

Gilford: 1 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, First United Methodist Church, 500 Gilford Ave.

Laconia: 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Woodside Building, 227 Ledges Drive

Laconia: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Laconia Middle School, 150 McGrath St.

Laconia: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Penny Pitou Travel, 55 Canal St.

CHESHIRE COUNTY:

Keene: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Southwestern Comm. Svcs.-Keene, 63 Community Way

Keene: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Monadnock Covenant Church, 90 Base Hill Road

COOS COUNTY:

Berlin: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Androscoggin Valley Hospital, 59 Page Hill Road

Lancaster: 12 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Colonel Town Community Center, 16 High St.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY:

Hudson: 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, White Birch Banquet Hall, 222 Central St.

Manchester: 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Manchester Boys and Girls Club, 555 Union St.

Merrimack: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, St John Neumann Church, 708 Milford Road

Nashua: Thursday: 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nashua Elks Lodge, 12 Murphy Drive, Unit B-1

MERRIMACK COUNTY:

Bow: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Bow High School, 32 White Rock Hill Road

Concord: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, New Hampshire Department of Safety, 33 Hazen Drive

Concord: 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, IBEW Local 490, 48 Airport Road

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY:

Derry: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday: Calvary Bible Church of Derry, 145 Hampstead Road

Exeter: 12 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, The Congregational Church in Exeter, 21 Front St.

Plaistow: 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Plaistow Public Library, 85 Main St.

Portsmouth: 12 to 5 p.m. Monday, North Church Parish House, 355 Spinney Road

Portsmouth: 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Best Western Plus Wynwood Hotel & Suites, 580 US Hwy 1 Bypass

Salem: 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Knights of Columbus Hall, 37 Main St.

Seabrook: 1 to 6 p.m. Monday, Trinity United Church Parish House, 29 Main St.

STRAFFORD COUNTY:

Dover: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, St. Mary Church, 25 Chestnut St.

Rochester: 12 to 5 p.m. Monday, Rochester Elks Lodge, 41 Columbus Ave.

SULLIVAN COUNTY:

Newport: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Newport High School, 245 N Main St.

Sunapee: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Sunapee Safety Complex, 9 Sargent Road, P.O. Box 15



It's barely two weeks into the New Year, and I've already fallen behind on nearly all my resolutions.

Short days and single-digit weather make going home after work so much more enjoyable than heading to the gym in the dark.

I'm still on track to maximize how often I give blood. Donors can give a pint every 56 days, which translates to about six times a year. While I have a couple of weeks to hit that window and get on a bimonthly schedule, that's not soon enough. I'll be crossing it off my list this week.

Severe winter weather this month forced the American Red Cross to cancel more than 200 blood drives, causing over 6,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. In New Hampshire, five blood drives were canceled due to the winter storm two weeks ago, causing 151 donations to go uncollected.

"This comes at a time that is always a difficult time for the Red Cross to maintain an adequate blood supply," said Mary Brant, spokesman for the Northern New England Red Cross Blood Services Region. "It starts becoming really difficult right around Thanksgiving. As soon as we come to the holidays, blood donations just immediately turn down, but the need for blood remains constant."

Even before the storm, the Red Cross was facing the aftermath of the annual holiday slowdown.

"As of about two weeks ago we were at a critical need point for O negative and B negative blood," Brant said Friday. "O negative blood, as you probably know, is the universal blood type, so if someone arrives at the emergency room and is unable to speak on their own behalf, that is the blood type that hospitals can reach for and they know they can give it to anyone."

"We just need to get word to people that there is really no substitute for volunteer blood donors. There is no place else to go."

Erin and Derek Tremblay of Manchester were honored by the Red Cross last year as local heroes for helping to get the word out. It's their way of saying thanks.

The Tremblays were awaiting the birth of their second child in 2013 when doctors instructed Erin to report to the hospital due to a concern about her blood. She delivered a healthy baby girl, but because of complications she was transferred to a Boston hospital, where she spent 10 days in the intensive care unit - and she received 50 units of blood.

Since then, the Tremblays have become regular donors, host blood drives and share their story to inspire more people to support the Red Cross.

"There isn't a day that goes by where I don't have some sort of feeling of gratitude that the Red Cross is there and doing the hard work that they do, and also blood donors for that matter," Derek Taylor said Friday. "If it weren't for the Red Cross and blood donors, my children wouldn't have a mommy. I wouldn't have a best friend."

Their daughter Bridgett is now 4, and their first child, James, is 9.

"It takes just a second to make a profound difference in someone's life. You can give somebody a second chance," said Derek, the CEO and founder of American Masonry Construction, a small Manchester business that builds patios, fireplaces and other residential projects. And the company has been busy: "I think it's going to be a really good year," he said.

Two dozen blood drives are scheduled throughout New Hampshire this week. (See accompanying list.)

January also is National Blood Donor Month. That means your life-saving pint of blood is worth a $5 Dunkin' Donuts gift card through the Dunkin' Donors Make a Difference Campaign. To remind you to keep giving blood after the free coffee is gone, the reloadable DD Card features a Red Cross logo.

Donors can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to find out where you can give. You can also download the free blood donor app, which makes it easy to set up appointments and track your donations.

To help speed up the donation process, donors can use RapidPass via the web (redcrossblood.org/rapidpass) or through the app to complete the required pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire.

Giving blood takes about as much time as going to the gym.

Contact Business Editor Mike Cote at 206-7724 or mcote@unionleader.com.


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