Highlighting an Important Topic

By Dr. Robert Wallace

February 27, 2020 4 min read

DR. WALLACE: Please pass on this information to anyone who wants to donate blood. This is an important and oftentimes overlooked topic that is truly critical to many people.

I was a plateletpheresis donor for many years, donating some 300 gallons of platelets in total, and I can assure any teen or adult that everything about blood donation is geared toward the safety of the donor, recipient and staff.

Blood banks are regulated by strict policies from the Food and Drug Administration, and the phlebotomists drawing blood adhere to those policies rigidly. Any teen or an adult can visit a blood bank and learn the truth about blood donation.

Blood is a perishable commodity, and the need can outstrip the supply if new blood donors do not become active in blood donation. I've noted (with pride!) that many young people these days, including teens, are very interested in recycling, health, fitness and making the world a better place for all of us. This social awareness should also extend to donating blood. If a teen donates and becomes a regular donor, he or she will become a member of a select group that ensures the well-being of their fellow human beings, and that is something to be proud of, don't you agree?

If you have space in your column, please print this to help shine more light on this very important topic. Thank you. — Proud Donor, via email

PROUD DONOR: Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion and recommendation. Thank you for taking the time to highlight the importance of blood donations. Teens and readers of all ages, please contact your local Red Cross organization to donate blood whenever you are able to do so.


DR. WALLACE: I am 12 years old. We have many hummingbirds in our backyard. I really enjoy them and have set up feeders for them. My science homework assignment is to write a short essay on a pet you have or would like to have, so I wrote my report on hummingbirds. I went to the public library and found some interesting information on this unusual little bird. I'd like to share what I have learned with your readers, if that is OK with you. Hopefully, they will also become hummingbird watchers!

— A hummingbird weighs less than a letter you get in the mail.

— A hummingbird's heart beats 1,260 times per minute.

— A resting hummingbird takes 250 breaths per minute.

— A hummingbird can fly up to 45 mph.

— Hummingbirds can fly backward as well as forward.

Thank you, Dr. Wallace, for letting me provide your readers some fun facts about my favorite little bird! — Young Hummingbird Admirer, via email

YOUNG HUMMINGBIRD ADMIRER: Thank you, young lady, for this interesting information. Consider the Wallace family hummingbird watchers, too. Last summer, a mother hummingbird laid two tiny eggs in a hanging flowerpot in our backyard. The eggs were about the size of green peas, and we were very excited when they hatched. Only Mother Nature could sculpt such delicately beautiful creatures!

By summer's end, we were saddened to find these birds had "flown the coop," but we were happy they had spent some time with us in our yard.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: Nicman at Pixabay

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