Thursday, March 7, 2013

How Can You Lower Your Cholesterol?

A diet rich in vegetables, fruits and cereal grains can positively impact your level of cholesterol. Other dietary considerations include choosing fish, poultry, and lean cuts of meat, and trimming fat from meat and skin from chicken before cooking. Eating fewer eggs and less organ meats such as liver, brain and kidney will also help.

Choosing salad dressings, cooking fats and margarines from vegetable products such as corn, olive and canola oils (those containing polyunsaturated vegetable oils) may also lower the level of blood cholesterol.

To lessen your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends limiting cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams per day, and reducing your total fat intake to about 30 percent of calories. In addition, exercise regularly, practice stress management, and do not smoke.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Keep Cool During Summer Months

  • Drink plenty of fluids, try to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages
  • Wear loose fitting cotton clothing, preferably light colors
  • Place your water bottle in the freezer, as you step out in the heat, the ice will melt and your water will stay cooler longer
  • Chill your pulse points! Place your wrist under cold running water or put that cold water bottle to your temples or neck
  • Eat small meals, you’ll not only keep cooler, but this is better for you anyway!
  • Keep an eye on children, elderly and your pets!
  • Don’t forget all of our fixed sites and bloodmobiles are all air conditioned! :)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cruise Aboard the Lifeline 2012

Miller-Keystone Blood Center and presenting sponsor Viamedia invite you to "Cruise the Caribbean Aboard the Life Line!" Join us on Friday, May 11th as we board at the ArtsQuest Center at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem. It’ll be a hot evening featuring the sights and sounds of the Caribbean, including some of the area’s top restaurants and caterers, entertainment, exciting silent and live auctions, wonderful raffles, and as always, our very popular “casino deck”. As you may know, there are significant costs involved with ensuring that there is a safe, stable, and constant blood supply for our community. Since its inception in 1995, the annual Cruise Aboard the Life Line event has raised the much-needed revenue to support the state-of-the-art laboratory and collections equipment, new bloodmobile vehicles, and health education and outreach efforts throughout the region. Join us as we Cruise the Caribbean, and help us save lives… it’s as simple as that! Don’t miss the Boat, Friday, May 11th…Purchase your tickets in advance because last year’s event was a sell-out! For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Miller-Keystone Blood Center at 800-223-6667 or visit

Sandra Thomas, Director of Development

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pump up the Iron!

As we learned in our previous blog, it is not only the fear of needles that people are worried about when donating. A major reason why people may not believe they are eligible to donate is, in fact, a real deficiency that many people in America suffer from.

Iron deficiency can affect your ability to donate blood. If there is not enough iron present in your body, you may be turned away from donating.  However, you can prevent this from happening just by your diet. 

Meats, beans, grains, fruits and vegetables are all-star foods when it comes to boosting your iron.

Meats:  Mostly red meats and meats including red meat, such as sausage, are all high in iron. However, as we know, red meat should be eaten on occasion, not daily.

Beans: The top three beans to improve your iron are white beans, black eyed peas and black beans.

Grains:  Switch to whole wheat when given the chance to, this is an easy way to pick up your iron level, also breakfast foods such as granola and oatmeal can give a great iron jumpstart to your day!

Fruits:  Most fruits are mainly used to help absorb iron. Vitamin C is the best way to help the absorption process of iron.  

Vegetables:  A leafy green such as spinach is a top contender in the fight for higher iron. An easy way to get spinach into your diet is to switch out lettuce in your salad for spinach. Also add mushrooms, and soy beans to it, both are also high in iron.  To get a boost of vitamin C you can also look in the vegetable category, red and green sweet peppers pack a surprising punch of the vitamin!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We need YOUR help!

Would you be willing to give an hour to save someone’s life? One of our regional hospitals has required a large supply of blood products from our “A” donors (both A-positive and A-negative), as part of the lifesaving treatment for a new mother and baby. If you or someone you know has either the A-positive or A-negative blood type, please call us at 800-223-6667 to schedule your donation today!
Friday, April 6, 2012

The Blood Donation Process

First time donor? Curious as to the donation proocess works? Below is the four simple steps to take to save a life!

Step One: Registration

When you arrive for your donation, you will be asked to provide either your MKBC Donor ID card, or valid identification with name and photo or signature (i.e., drivers license, credit card). You will also be asked for your name and date of birth.

Step Two: Health Screening

A trained staff member will check your temperature, blood pressure and pulse, as well as a drop of your blood (to check your iron level), to ensure that you are eligible to donate. A series of questions about your health and lifestyle will also be asked. All information during this process is done in private, and kept strictly confidential.

Most persons who are 17 years of age or older, and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood, but depending on the screening process, you may be deferred from donating, either temporarily or permanently. At this time, our staff member will also be able to answer any questions you might have.

Step Three: The Blood Donation

Before the donation, a trained staff member will clean the area of the arm that will be used for your blood donation. All supplies used in this process, including the needle, are sterile and disposable; therefore, there is no chance of contracting any disease from the blood donation process.

The actual blood donation will only take 5-10 minutes, after which time our staff member will also review some post-donation instructions with you and answer any additional questions you may have. 

Step Four: The Canteen

After your donation, you will be asked to spend 20 minutes in our refreshment area, where our volunteers will provide you with some refreshments to replenish the sugar and fluids in your body.

Call 800-486-2566 to schedule your appointment!

MKBC Fact:

Approximately 450 units of blood are needed every day in the 11 counties served by Miller-Keystone Blood Center.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Miller-Keystone Blood Center’s High School Recognition Cord Program

Miller-Keystone is proud to begin our new High School Recognition Cord Program. This program will recognize seniors at their graduation ceremony for being a life-saving donor and to honor them for making such a significant contribution to our community.

Students 17 years of age and older must register to donate blood four or more times during their high school career. If a student is ineligible to give blood he or she can volunteer to assist at four blood drives during their high school career. Volunteer hours must be approved and verified by a school sponsor or our volunteer office.

Each student who qualifies will receive a certificate and a red Recognition Cord. Cords will be provided before the awards night event or graduation.

For more information, please contact: or contact Marsha Springel, Manager of Donor Resources, 800-223-6667 ext. 1276 or

Relying on the Generosity of Others

As a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Miller-Keystone Blood Center relies on the generosity of community businesses, government resources, foundations and individuals to help us achieve our goals and remain true to our mission of ensuring a safe, stable and constant blood supply in the 10 counties we serve.
We face an enormous challenge of maintaining a safe and adequate community blood supply to serve the hospital patients in our region. Much of that challenge is inherent in that there is no substitute for blood; the only source is the volunteer blood donor.
Blood that is donated has a short shelf life – 5 days for platelets and 42 days for red blood cells. That is why a constant stream of blood donors is necessary to ensure an ongoing supply of lifesaving blood products is available for the hospitals in our region.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that all blood centers implement new laboratory technology and blood collection equipment as they become available. In addition to this mandate, we face strict Quality Assurance regulations and out-of-date equipment that must be replaced on a relatively continual basis. New equipment guarantees the safety of the blood supply and allows us to operate in the most cost-effective and productive manner possible.
We are privileged to have volunteer blood donors who roll up their sleeves to provide the community with the gift of life, and we remain grateful to all the volunteers who donate their time, talent and philanthropic support.  It is only with their ongoing assistance that we can continue to ensure a safe and productive blood center.
Sandra D. Thomas, Director of Development
Sandra D. Thomas holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Cedar Crest College, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Marywood University. Ms. Thomas also serves as a Lieutenant with the U.S. Navy. She has served as Director of Development for Miller-Keystone Blood Center since 2001.