Lions Clubs hosts blood drive, others planned in March, May

Members of the Petersham and Grafton lions clubs, with Jessie the Lion, held a blood drive earlier this month, and have others planned for March and May.

Members of the Petersham and Grafton lions clubs, with Jessie the Lion, held a blood drive earlier this month, and have others planned for March and May. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 02-09-2024 5:00 PM

Modified: 02-15-2024 2:18 PM


PETERSHAM — The Petersham Lions Club, in partnership with the Grafton MA Lions Club, sponsored the recent Massachusetts General Hospital Blood Drive, and more are planned in the near future.

In response to a nationwide shortage and a constant need for blood, on a February day, donors registered and arrived to donate blood at the Grafton Lions Club. Forty-one adult donors and one teen donor became lifesavers through their donations.

The Petersham/Harvard Lions Club will hold other drives on March 30 at the Clear Path for Veterans Building at Devens, and on May 4 at Monty Tech High School in partnership with the Petersham Lions Club.

As arrangements are finalized, the locations and sign-ups will appear on the MGH Blood Center Upcoming Blood Drives web page: https://blooddonor.massgeneral.org/donor/schedules/geo.

MGH’s bloodmobile is a self-contained bus that has four recliners for those donating and an experienced staff of registered nurses and phlebotomists.

Drinks and snacks were offered afterward.

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The entire process takes 30 to 45 minutes, including completing paperwork, a pre-screening by a Bloodmobile staff member and the donation itself, which only takes seven to 10 minutes.

Donors are able to book appointments online through https://blooddonor.massgeneral.org/donor/schedules/geo.

Each time slot has between two and four donation openings. The exclusion criteria are listed on the website and with the advancements in blood testing, processing and medical care, there are very few exceptions.

A member of the Petersham Lions Club donated at Montachusett Regional Technical High School (Monty Tech) several years ago and as a medical professional, was impressed with the efficiency and safety of the event.

This prompted her to reach out to MGH to sponsor a drive by the Petersham Lions. Due to a national blood safety regulation, the Bloodmobile has a defined time and mileage requirement to be able to get the bus and staff to the location and the donated blood back to the MGH blood bank for processing. This eliminated Petersham as a location, so they reached out to other Lions Clubs in the district and both Grafton Lions and Harvard Lions stepped up to partner with Petersham.

According to the MGH Blood Center, about a pint of blood is taken and adults have between nine and 12 pints in their body.

Blood donated will be replaced within 24 hours. One need only wait eight weeks between donations and can give up to six times a year.

Less than 5% of the population donates, yet 90% will need a transfusion of one or more units in their lifetime.