Up to three lives can be saved with one donation

by Sydney van Wyk

Darlene Cookson is a regular blood donor.
“I try to come down when they call me,” said Cookson.

Cookson was at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center on Jan. 8 to donate blood.
The Go Ye Village resident has O-negative blood and donates when she can because her blood can substitute for any other type.
Blood type is determined by the presence of antigens, which are substances naturally occurring in blood. Antigens can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to a body, as explained on the American Red Cross website.
“Since some antigens can trigger a patient’s immune system to attack the transfused blood, safe blood transfusions depend on careful blood typing and cross-matching,” the Red Cross website says.
There are two antigens present in some blood, referred to as antigen A and antigen B. Those without either, like Cookson, have type-O blood.
Those with both antigens are type AB.
A positive or negative blood type is determined by a different antigen, called the Rh factor.