EDITORIAL: Blood always needed

·3 min read

Sep. 3—Thumbs up to those who routinely step up to donate blood and to those who get out and remind others how important it is to start donating.

The supply of blood ebbs and flows but the need for it is constant. Accident victims who need emergency surgery, people getting transplants and people getting a variety of surgeries need blood infusions.

Jan Hughes, of Eagle Lake, was reminded of the life-giving gift of blood when her 48-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer known as mantle cell lymphoma, an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with no known cure.

Knowing her son would be getting blood infusions, she began donating blood after not doing so for years, knowing it would help others who needed it.

She also began encouraging others to donate.

The American Red Cross has its annual Rock 'n' Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood Drive from Sept. 6-9 in Mankato, where people, including those who haven't donated before or haven't for a while, can give blood.

It's needed now more than ever. At the start of this year, due to shortages during the pandemic, the Red Cross announced the worst blood shortage in more than a decade.

To schedule an appointment for blood donation, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

OD prevention

Thumbs up to the crowd of people who showed up at a training this week to prevent opioid overdoses.

More than 100 students, faculty and staff at Minnesota State University attended the Wednesday event to learn how to administer the medication naloxone to those suspected of overdosing on an opioid. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid often laced into heroin, methamphetamine and other illicit drugs, causing a spike in overdoses across the country.

This area has not been immune to an increase in the number of fentanyl overdoses. Minnesota had 1,286 overdose deaths in 2021, a 22% increase from 2020, and that number represented a record high for the state. Overdoses are the leading causes of accidental deaths in the U.S.

Even more sobering is that younger people are most often the victims. Overdose is the leading overall cause of death among 18- to 45-year-olds.

The local training, done by Christian Family Solutions, is one of the first public events since MSU opened its new Center for Rural Behavioral Health. It was a strategic way to inform the public about what they can do and how to do it.

This hands-on approach to giving people the tools to help anyone in need won't solve the drug epidemic, but it will surely prevent some drug users from dying of overdoses.

For more information on naloxone, including a map showing where to get it, visit: knowthedangers.com/naloxone-finder.

Been there, done that

Thumbs down to Trump loyalist and Lindsey Graham, a senator who last week threatened "riots in the streets" should the former president be prosecuted for taking some of the nation's most sensitive secrets to lie around in his unsecured estate.

Graham, R-S.C., is trying to get out of facing a Georgia grand jury looking into attempts to overturn the election results in that state, including a phone call by the senator to the secretary of state.

Graham was a military lawyer before entering Congress. He should have more respect for the rule of law than he displays, should be more loyal to his oath to protect and defend the Constitution than to Donald Trump. He should not be touting mob violence as a response to criminal charges.

When President Joe Biden warns that Trump's most devoted adherents are "semi-fascists," this is what he's talking about.

(Update: An incorrect reference to Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has been removed.)