Red Cross reminds donors that need for blood doesn't pause for holidays.
Every day, patients across the nation rely on blood donated through the American Red Cross. Nearly 5 million need blood transfusions every year. Generous donors can help the Red Cross meet patient needs by giving blood.
"Accident victims can require up to 100 pints of blood, but they aren't the only people who rely on blood transfusions," said Greg Novinska, CEO of the Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. "The blood you donate through the Red Cross can also help cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, premature babies and many others."
The blood supply is particularly vulnerable during the holiday season because donors travel and spend time with family and friends and may forget to schedule a donation appointment. Because red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days, it is vital for those eligible to give blood regularly.
Other upcoming blood donation opportunities are the community blood drive on Thursday, December 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Memorial Building, 208 Broad St.
How to donate blood. Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or some other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.