Recent Posts, Health

Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease: Why It’s Important to Monitor Your Cholesterol

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is the number one cause of death in the United States. Elevated cholesterol is one of the major contributors to heart disease and stroke. It is also associated with increased risk of future cardiovascular disease, which can begin in adolescence and progress asymptomatically for years. To maintain cardiovascular health it is important to stay on top of your cholesterol levels.

There are two types of cholesterol, LDL, which is often referred to as the bad cholesterol and HDL, the good cholesterol.  Excess LDL cholesterol can lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries which can decrease blood flow and lead to a heart attack. If plaque breaks off, tiny pieces of plaque and clotted blood flow through the vessels where they can lodge in the brain and cause a stroke.

At the time of every donation, Carter BloodCare provides basic health screenings for donors that include total cholesterol and blood pressure information. This is in addition to the mandated screenings for hemoglobin/hematocrit and transfusion-transmissible infectious diseases. These results allow donors to use their information to get a better handle on their health and well-being.

What do the numbers mean?

For adults over 20, the desirable level is less than 200 mg/dL. Values of 200 to 239 mg/dL are borderline high risk and values above 240 mg/dL are considered high risk for cardiovascular disease. If your value is above 200 mg/dL you should consult with your physician who might want to do additional tests.

For adolescents younger than age 20, the desirable level is less than 170 mg/dL. Values of 170 to 199 mg/dL are borderline high risk and values above 200 mg/dL are considered high risk for cardiovascular disease. If you are in this age category and your value is above 170 mg/dL you should also consult with your physician.

How you can monitor your cholesterol levels

There are usually no symptoms to let you know if your cholesterol levels are too high. That’s why it is important to have your levels checked regularly. One easy way to check your levels is to go to your healthcare provider and have them perform tests. However, if you would like more frequent and simpler updates on your cholesterol, all you need to do is give blood.

Before each donation at Carter BloodCare, donors go through a simple health screening to check pulse, blood pressure, temperature and hemoglobin. Blood samples taken prior to your donation are used for viral testing and  for the cholesterol test results you can receive online in about a week. This is a part of our Wellness Program that helps donors keep track of their health and allows you to have your cholesterol tested more frequently.

For more information on cholesterol and cardiovascular health, visit the American Heart Association., Health

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How Blood Donation Helps

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that means a month of nationwide campaigns and pink ribbons. Each October, we are reminded of the importance of research, awareness and doing whatever it takes to find a cure. With an average of one in eight women being diagnosed with breast cancer, it is that much more important to do whatever we can to help.

According to, an estimated 292,130 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. For women, breast cancer death rates are higher than any other cancer besides lung cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to bring the issue to the forefront and get more people passionate about finding a way to end the disease.

Cancer of any form can cause harrowing effects on the body. While we have come up with dozens of procedures, medicines and treatments to help with specific forms, one powerful treatment is blood transfusion. Cancer itself can cause internal bleeding, crowd out blood-making cells, lower blood counts, and cause the body to develop anemia of chronic disease. No matter what kind of cancer, if it has an affect on the blood, patients could receive a blood transfusion.

Breast cancer, like many types of cancer, can require chemotherapy (chemo) to combat the cancer cells. Chemo and the drugs taken with it affect cells in the bone marrow, causing low blood cell counts. Patients going through chemo can require blood transfusionss to help alleviate the side effects brought on by the therapy.  Blood transfusions help not only replenish the loss of blood; they provide patients’ bodies with nutrients that cannot be found anywhere else.

This year, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, try to think of what you can do to really make an impact. When it comes to finding a cure, you can pledge money and join a walk, but you can also do something immediately effective for patients in need. Schedule a time to give blood this month, so you can help those suffering from and going through treatment for breast cancer, until we find a cure.

Events & News,

Drive Coordinator Spotlight: Duffie Monroe

Proving that motivation can go a long way towards saving lives, this month we want to recognize Duffie Monroe of Summit Industrial Products as our Drive Coordinator of the Month! Duffie Monroe is more than just a drive coordinator. He actively supports Carter BloodCare through social media and works to further our message. He is a volunteer and donor, who will reach his 17-gallon donation mark this October.

As the drive coordinator at Summit Industrial Products, Duffie has created a program with his company that rewards those who give at company blood drives. Beginning in 2011, any employees of Summit who gives at three of the five drives each year receives a token of appreciation from the company. In the past, donors have received T-shirts, pullovers and more. In addition to rewards, Duffie also cooks for his donors after the drives as another way to say ‘thank you’ for giving life.

Duffie Monroe knows how to make each drive special. He prints fun posters to advertise drives internally, uses memes to get more people excited, and has developed a culture of giving within his organization, making each drive more successful than the last. Duffie understands the importance of planning his drives in advance and books his entire year at once, so his company always knows the next opportunity to give life. This gives Duffie and his recruiter time to make each drive stand out. 

This summer, Duffie had a drive scheduled for July 29, before discovering half of his office would be out for a developmental conference. Duffie knew he needed to match his past record of success, so he went around the office to personally ask everyone who was there to give. Duffie’s hard work paid off, and he was not only able to get close to his usual number of donations, but also he also recruited two first-time donors.

Duffie Monroe has done so much to help our mission within his company, and this month we want to say thank you!

Do you want your drive to be featured next month? Email your recruiter and you can show other drive coordinators what you do to make each drive a success.

Events & News

Spend September with Carter BloodCare

September in Texas means it’s finally time for us to say goodbye to the heat (or at least start to) and get ready to make our way into fall. This month, we’re teaming up with our friends at Cotton Patch Café to give donors more rewards, and to celebrate some of our favorite events in September.

National Phlebotomists Week

September 6 – September 12, Carter BloodCare celebrated National Phlebotomists Week. Phlebotomists, or blood collectors, make it possible for us to get vital blood to the patients and hospitals that require it. Over 12.6 million units of blood are donated in America every year and these blood collectors are essential to this process. Carter BloodCare showed our blood collectors how much they mean to our organization, donors, and the thousands of patients that receive the benefits of their hard work across North, Central, and East Texas.

Hungry? Have dinner on us

Carter BloodCare is partnering with Cotton Patch Café to give donors the chance to win a $50 gift card! To enter to win, login to your Great Partners Rewards account and redeem 50 points to be entered to win the $50 Cotton Patch Café gift card.

Honor Cords for Great Grads

The Honor Cord Program recognizes excellence in student participation in the high school blood drive program. The program also emphasizes the value of blood donation as an important act of community service. Class of 2016 seniors need to give twice before graduation to earn their red cords. Class of 2017 and beyond will need a total of 4 donations during their high school career in order to receive their red cords. Students who earn their red cords serve as leaders in their community and set the precedence for community service for their classmates, school, and future as they head into college.

ADRP National Donor Recruiter’s Day

The Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals, invites you to celebrate the crucial role that blood donor recruiters play in ensuring blood is available to patients in need. This September 17, join
Carter BloodCare and ADRP as we recognize recruiters and their commitment to saving lives and serving others. If you give on this day, upload a picture to Facebook with #ADRP. The ADRP will be rewarding individuals or teams $50, $75 and $100 rewards for giving and helping recruiters Take It Further. Head to the ADRP website to learn how you can take it further when you give life on National Donor Recruiter’s Day.