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What It Means to Have Type A Blood

Whether it is in our bodies or donated to help others, blood is an important part of our lives. Even though it all looks the same, every person’s blood is different. There are more than 50 factors that determine blood compatibility, all of which begin with blood type. Blood type is determined by the presence or absence of A and B antigens on the surface of red blood cells. Blood type A is blood that has only the A antigen present in the red blood cells, but what it means to have type A blood is much more than the presence of an antigen.

Type A blood, at its most basic, means that the A antigen is present on the red cells, and has a B antibody present in the plasma. This means that people with type A blood cannot receive blood from donors who have the B antigen. Type A recipients can only receive blood from type A and type O donors.

The other factor that determines who can and cannot receive a specific blood type is the Rh factor. Blood types with the Rh factor present are positive (+), while blood types where it is absent are negative (-). Patients with negative blood types can only receive blood that is negative, while patients with positive blood types can receive both negative and positive blood. If you are type A-, you can only receive from A- and O- donors, while A+ patients can receive from A+, A-, O+ and O- donors.

Believed to be one of the original blood types, type A blood is one of the most common in the United States, accounting for 34 percent of people. Blood type A- only occurs in six percent of the population. Around the world, blood type A appears most commonly in the Aborigines people of Australia, the Blackfoot Indian tribe of Montana, and the Lapps people of Northern Scandinavia; all unrelated populations found in different continents. Generally, most people of European descent are found to have blood type A, while there is almost no distribution of the blood type A in South America.

At Carter BloodCare, we focus on finding blood donations that meet the needs of the community. Thankfully, in our community we see a lot of donors with blood type A stepping up to make a difference and give life. If your blood is type A, either positive or negative, you can always make a difference in the community. Whether it is through whole blood or automated donations, there are always parts of your blood that can make transfusion possible in your community.


Great.info

Sue and Mark James: Giving Love to Their Community

We feel the love year ‘round at Carter BloodCare. From the generosity of our donors, to the commitment of our volunteers, we see people every day sharing with us in amazing ways. With all the emphasis on romance this time of year, it is only fitting to find the perfect Carter BloodCare love story to help you get excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Mark and Sue James have been loyal Carter BloodCare volunteers for more than ten years. It is rare to see one of them volunteering at Carter BloodCare without the other. Always a committed team, they regularly give their time and hearts to the Carter BloodCare mission.

Look out for the couple at Carter BloodCare events. Their favorite jobs are greeting donors or giving them refreshments at donor centers and mobile blood drives. They enjoy helping with office projects together and are always spotted laughing with their friends at quarterly volunteer meetings. Mark and Sue always give their time, even at the last minute, to share their love to others in the community.

The biggest way to show compassion is through actions, and Mark and Sue James do that every month when they spend time together giving life to their community.

How do share the love with your community? Let us know in the comments!


Giving Blood

My Blood Type is AB+

Although it may look identical, not all blood is the same. The small, but vitally important difference can be found at the surface of the red blood cells. The presence, or absence, of A and B antigens at this level determines your blood type. The antigens help identify to whom your donated blood can be transfused and what types of blood you can receive if you ever require a blood transfusion. Differentiating blood in this way is important, because without it, careful matching to ensure safe transfusions would not be possible. This matching process is especially important for those with AB+ blood, a blood type with a very specific antigen make-up that appears less frequently in the U.S. population.

So what makes AB+ different from the other blood types? AB+ blood has both A and B antigens at the surface of the red blood cells, while other blood groups (A and B) only have one, or lack them altogether (group O). Because of this unique combination, AB+ donors’ blood can only be given to others with AB+ blood. However, AB+ is the universal recipient blood type, meaning that patients with AB+ blood can receive blood from donors of any blood type if they require a transfusion.

Antigens present in AB+ also play a vital role in plasma donations. While AB+ blood has both A and B antigens on the red blood cells, neither of the antigens are present in the plasma. This makes AB+ the universal plasma donor, meaning that AB+ plasma can be transfused into patients who have any other ABO blood type. The AB blood group is believed to be the newest blood type. The AB blood group is the result of the intermingling between Caucasian (commonly group A) and Mongolian (commonly group B) people. For these reasons, the AB blood group is found in low percentages throughout the European population, but appears more commonly within the sub-continental Indian population.

Only about 3 percent of the U.S. population is AB+, making AB+ blood donors all the more valuable. Although people with AB+ blood can receive from any blood type, it is always preferred to receive blood from a person with the same blood type. If your blood type is AB+, we hope you will consider giving life to your community by donating blood and/or plasma as often as you can. You can give whole blood donations every 56 days and plasma donations as often as every four weeks. You can even give us a call at 1-800-366-2834 to see when your donation is most needed.

If you’re not AB+, you can learn more about how your blood type helps save lives here (link to “Donate to Meet the Needs” blog post). Don’t know your blood type? You can still give blood! When you donate with Carter BloodCare, we’ll test your blood and let you know your type so you can research more about who your blood helps, what types of blood could help you, and when your blood type is needed most.

Knowing your blood type and what makes it different from the others can give you a greater understanding of the blood donation process, the blood cross-matching process, and the need for blood donations of your type in your community.


Health

Winter Health Tips

It’s the time of year where we focus our energy on holiday shopping, family gatherings, and preparing ourselves for all the holiday feasts. However, the one thing we all forget to do around the holidays is take time for our health. With all of the crowded malls, added stress and cold weather, it’s easy to let yourself get sick during the holiday season.

When we are healthy, we have more opportunities available to us and can spend more time doing what makes us happy. There are a lot of things each of us can do to make sure we stay healthy, and in turn, help others stay healthy as well.
 

Simple Tips To Prevent Getting Sick

The simplest way to avoid getting sick, or getting others sick, this holiday season is to get your flu shot. The flu causes thousands of people to fall ill each year, some resulting in death from complications. Getting a flu shot not only helps guard against getting the flu, it keeps those around you safe as well.

The flu is very common during the winter months. Other than getting a flu shot, washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself from catching or spreading any germs. Our hands touch so many things throughout the day; we can’t imagine what is on them. Additionally, remembering to wash things you touch daily, such as your phone, or door handles, can control the spread of bacteria and germs.

The best way to spend winter is cozy and indoors, however that means we will get less time soaking in the great outdoors. Less time spent outside means your body doesn’t get as much Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps boost the health of our immune system and heart. If you aren’t willing to take a supplement, a great way to get enough Vitamin D is to eat fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, and mushrooms.

Even though they are some of the happiest times of the year the holidays can also be some of the most stressful. Work on handling stress during the holidays. When our minds get stressed, so do our bodies. This lets down our body’s defenses, leaving us more prone to illness. Relax a little and it is easier to enjoy a healthier holiday and winter season.

The winter months are a busy time for everyone, making it hard to remember important things like our health. It doesn’t take much to make sure you stay healthy this winter. Doing the little things to look out for yourself means you can enjoy the best the season has to offer.


Giving Blood

Giving Life Gives You Life

Helping someone in need is one of the most rewarding things we can experience. Whether you’re donating blood with Carter BloodCare or lending a hand at a local food bank, there’s something personally gratifying about helping your neighbors. Giving back not only helps to breathe new life into your community, but also generates a renewed sense of purpose and a passion for improving the lives of those around you.

This is especially true during the holiday season. Between the parties, shopping for gifts and spending quality time with friends and family, it’s easy to get caught up in all the festivities that go along with this time of the year. However, this season also brings plenty of opportunities to support others and spread some of that holiday cheer to people who need it.

During the holidays, there are more opportunities than ever to get involved in giving life with Carter BloodCare. We are always in need of volunteers who are willing to lend a hand at our donor centers and at local events in their communities. Whether you want to be right in the middle of the action or would be more comfortable working behind-the-scenes, there’s a way for everyone to participate. Head to our website to see how you can sign-up to give blood or volunteer this holiday season.
 

Give Life This Holiday Season

The holidays are full of community gatherings and events, which makes this season the perfect time to get others excited about giving life by coordinating your own blood drive! You can host your blood drive at local schools, with community groups, at places of worship and even at the office. Just set a goal and spread the word, and the Carter BloodCare team will provide you with all of the promotional materials and information you will need to have a safe and successful blood drive. Email bookablooddrive@carterbloodcare.org to get started on giving life in the community.

We know that things can get a little chaotic during the holidays, so if you’re short on time, donating blood is one of the easiest and quickest ways you can make a difference. The entire process of donating whole blood with Carter BloodCare takes about an hour, but your donation has the potential to make an incredible impact on multiple people in the state of Texas.

Every 90 seconds, someone in the Carter BloodCare service area requires a blood transfusion. This fact, and the overall need for blood donations, doesn’t change when the holidays roll around. However, the number of blood donors decreases during this time of the year—when people are busy shopping, spending time with loved ones and enjoying the holidays. High schools are also not hosting blood drives while they are closed. This means that we need blood donations now more than ever in order to continue saving lives.

To learn more about how to give back to your community with Carter BloodCare this holiday season, visit the “You Can Help” section of our website. There, you’ll find a list of blood donation centers and community blood drives, information on how to coordinate your own drive and a list of volunteer opportunities for you to get involved with.

Whether you’re donating your time, money or blood, we hope you will join us in giving back this holiday season. After all, the biggest gift we can give to ourselves and others this holiday season is the gift of life and love.


Giving Blood, Great.info

Score Big and Give With the Dallas Mavericks!

It’s basketball season and for most people in North Texas that means it’s Mavs season! This month, Carter BloodCare and the Dallas Mavericks are teaming up to help spread the message of saving lives to Mavs fans throughout North, Central and East Texas. From Mavericks-themed rewards and the chance to go to a game, to a special campaign with Mavs owner Mark Cuban, this month is our chance to save lives and bleed blue with the Dallas Mavericks!

The Mavericks are ready to get everyone into the life-saving spirit, starting with great giveaways for donors. If you show up to donate blood in the month of December, you receive a free Dallas Mavs squeezie, which is the perfect way to get your blood pumping during your donation. When you donate, you will also receive a Dallas Mavericks Buy-One-Get-One voucher. To redeem the voucher, go to CarterBloodCare.org between December 20, 2014 and January 7, 2015, and enter the code on your voucher into the correct fields.

In case that isn’t enough to get you to bleed blue, this month donors have the chance to win suite tickets to the Dallas Mavericks game on January 23, 2015. Just log into your Great Partners Rewards account and redeem 50 points to enter your name into the drawing to win a Mavs game suite night at American Airlines Center. There is no limit to the number of times you can enter, as long as you have enough points on the board.

The Dallas Mavericks are heroes on the court, and now it’s your turn to be their hero. The Mavs will be hosting a blood drive in December to give more of their fans the chance to bleed blue and score a three-pointer by saving up to three lives with each blood donation. If you’re ready to be a hero, head to our mobile blood drive with the Mavs on Thursday, December 18th from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Scottish Rite Hospital, 2222 Welborn Street in Dallas, and give blood.

It’s impossible to talk about the Dallas Mavericks without mentioning their fearless leader, Mark Cuban. We had the opportunity to work directly with Cuban and discover new ways to spread the Carter BloodCare mission of saving lives to Mavs fans all over North, Central and East Texas. Check out the video below and look out for Mark Cuban urging you to be a hero with Carter BloodCare.

After helping us spread our message, Mark Cuban volunteered to become a hero himself and donated blood. Like any true Mavs fan, he really does bleed blue. Follow Mark Cuban on Instagram, @mcuban, and stay tuned to see how you can bleed blue with Mark to help save lives in the community.

Carter BloodCare is excited to team up with the Dallas Mavericks and make the goal of saving lives a win. Help us score big this month and donate blood for your chance to be a part of the Dallas Mavericks team.