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Published January 14th, 2015
Lamorindans Rally to Give Blood
Orinda Councilmember Eve Phillips shares a confident smile before giving blood Jan. 7 as part of the American Red Cross Blood Drive at the Orinda Community Center. Photo Andy Scheck

Lamorindans joined Orinda City Councilmember Eve Phillips in celebrating National Blood Donor Month by rolling up their sleeves and giving back to the Bay Area and nation at an American Red Cross Blood Drive Jan. 7 at the Orinda Community Center. "National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970," explains Joseph Jopski, a representative from the organization's Northern California Blood Services Region. "The goal of events like this drive in Orinda is to increase blood and platelet donations during winter - one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs."
After filling out their health histories and completing mini-physicals, each Lamorinda donor gave slightly more than a pint of blood, which was then labeled and stored in iced coolers by the Red Cross. Bar coding enables the organization to track each donation from Orinda through the Red Cross system as the blood is typed, tested for bacteria and other diseases, separated into red cells, platelets and plasma, relabeled, and stored until the Red Cross ships the components to hospitals across the nation - something the American Red Cross does every hour of every day.
Jopski estimates that, thanks to Lamorinda's team effort, 54 lives will be saved in 2015. All of the Orinda donations were successful, he says, and each may end up being used for up to three different patients in need - a great return on the investment for all who participated. If you missed this month's blood drive, you'll still have another chance to help in March during National Red Cross Month. To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/about-us/red-cross-month. To organize your own Sleeves Up campaign with friends, family or coworkers, visit http://sleevesup.redcrossblood.org/pages/howitworks.


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