Optimists Club members hear about Red Cross

Erin Bushey, a donor recruitment representative with the American Red Cross, talked to Optimist Club of Alpena at a recent breakfast meeting held at JJ’s Steak and Pizza House.

Bushey, a graduate of Central Michigan University, has worked for Red Cross for a year and a half. She began her presentation by telling that the agency is a non-profit group that provides disaster relief, financial aid and life saver training.

The area Bushey works in is the collection of blood for medical purposes. She demonstrated the need for blood by stating that every two seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion, and that amounts to around 50,000 pints per day.

It is a full time job to see that the need is met. Bushey said the majority of the blood drive process is handled by volunteers and basically the only paid staff at the blood drives are the medical personnel drawing and processing the blood.

For the most part it is a simple process to donate blood through the Red Cross; however, as medical technology advances and world travel becomes more common, they have to be careful about who donates to prevent the spread of disease.

Bushey said that patient safety is a high priority and the whole process takes about an hour and you’re back on your way.

“If you’d like to help support our community’s blood supply, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or log on to redcrossblood.org,” she said in closing.