What’s your type? Local blood bank will offer free testing

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CASSOPOLIS – With just a tiny poke and a drop of blood, Cass County Fair visitors can find out what blood type they have through free blood-type testing that will be available Monday, Aug. 3, through Saturday, Aug. 8, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day at 590 N. O’Keefe St. in Cassopolis from Michigan Community Blood Centers.

The non-profit blood bank also will give Cass County Fair guests 17 or older a chance to help save living by giving blood during blood drives on the Michigan Community Blood Centers Blood Bus on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and Thursday, Aug. 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

No appointment is required for either the free blood-type testing or the blood drives.
“Lots of people don’t know what blood type they are, mainly because they’ve never had an opportunity to find out,” said Jenny Stringham, blood drive recruiter for Michigan Community Blood Centers in southwest Michigan (St. Joseph). “People aren’t required to donate to get the free blood-type testing, but we hope to generate some interest and get people thinking about blood donation. This is our first time at the Cass County Fair and we hope to recruit some lifelong donors.”

Any healthy person 17 or older who weighs 110 pounds or more may be eligible to give blood every 56 days.

Separated into components (red cells, plasma, platelets), each donated pint of blood can help as many as three individuals.

According to Stringham, “Summer is a particularly high-need time for blood. It’s harder to keep a steady flow of blood donations coming in. Many donors are busy with seasonal activities or on vacation. But the need for blood never goes away. In fact, someone needs blood every three seconds.”

To keep a sufficient supply of blood available, Michigan Community Blood Centers collect more than 100 pints of blood every week, year round, in this region.
Statewide, the blood bank collects more than 100,000 pints of blood annually to supply 26 hospitals in four major regions of the state (total population 1.5 million).

After meeting the needs of Michigan hospitals, Michigan Community Blood Centers also responds to needs for blood across the nation, including military and disaster-related needs. More information is available at www.miblood.org.

How many people have
each blood type?

38 percent – 0-Positive
7 percent – O-Negative
34 percent -A-Positive
6 percent – A-Negative
9 percent – B-Positive
2 percent – B-Negative
3 percent – AB-Positive
1 percent – AB-Negative