EDITORIAL

A simple way to save lives

Posted 1/18/22

Blood - much like other things we take for granted until we don't have them, such as functioning plumbing and heating - is one of those great equalizing factors in life that transcends all other societal labels. If you need blood, and you can't get any,

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EDITORIAL

A simple way to save lives

Posted

Blood — much like other things we take for granted until we don’t have them, such as functioning plumbing and heating — is one of those great equalizing factors in life that transcends all other societal labels. If you need blood, and you can’t get any, you’re in a world of trouble. This is a hard fact that is underscored currently by a national blood shortage that is also threatening our local communities. We have less than a third of the supply of blood deemed prudent at our disposal for use in local hospitals, which poses a great threat to many thousands of people who may need that blood in the wake of any type of medical emergency. The reasons for this shortage are not hard to ascertain. People are preoccupied, overworked, stressed, and simply trying to get by in the midst of our current health crisis that continues to sicken, hospitalize and quarantine thousands of Rhode Islanders each day. Taking an hour to donate blood is something that can be easily pushed aside in light of other priorities — surely, enough people will step up to fulfill this need if you aren’t able to, right? Unfortunately, such wishful thinking does nothing to bolster our blood supply. It is one of those problems that can only be met through selfless decisions made by many thousands of people to go through a slight inconvenience for the greater good — a theme that, we admit, has become increasingly common in a world of mask wearing and pleas to safeguard neighbors through changing your own behavior and norms. But donating blood, we argue, has a far more tangible impact. It is a simple transaction, scientifically biological in nature but symbolically so much more profound. As the slogan states, to donate blood is to donate the gift of life to somebody you will almost definitely never meet or even be aware exists. There are even incentives to give blood, in the form of large gift cards and monthly prize drawings through the Rhode Island Blood Center, that is more than worth the slight inconvenience and even slighter discomfort one must go through to give this most incredible gift. It is during times of particular hardship that we must ask for even more from those in our communities, and of ourselves, to contribute towards these kinds of causes that safeguard other people and prevent needless suffering. The world is in a difficult spot right now, but it will only become more difficult if this blood shortage persists and further deteriorates. Make a donation appointment today by going to ribc.org or by calling 401-453-8383.

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