Don't forget to give blood this holiday season
BLOOMINGTON, Dec 17, 2012 (Menafn - The Pantagraph - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Give the gift of life at Christmas.
That's a request from the American Red Cross and the Central Illinois Community Blood Center in anticipation of the seasonal dip in blood donations.
"Giving blood is one of the best and simplest ways to make a difference in the local community and across the country," said Ben Corey of the Red Cross Mid-America Blood Services Division.
The blood supply is adequate, thanks to an outpouring of donations following superstorm Sandy and because there has been no significant snowfall to cause blood drive cancellations, said Corey and Kirby Winn of the Central Illinois blood center. Red Cross covers most of The Pantagraph area, except for parts of Tazewell and Logan counties served by the Central Illinois blood center.
Donations always decline around Christmas and New Year's as donors get busy with holidays preparations, celebrations and travel, Corey and Winn said. Blood drives at businesses operating with limited staff yield fewer donations and drives at schools and colleges are canceled during winter break.
Snow, freezing rain and seasonal illnesses also slow donations during winter, they said.
Meanwhile, the need for blood is constant for transfusions for cancer, heart and surgery patients, for trauma victims and others, Corey and Winn said.
All blood types are needed. Donors with O negative blood are especially encouraged to give because O negative is the universal blood type, meaning it may be transfused to anyone who needs blood in an emergency.
Corey said the annual Pantagraph Holiday Blood Drive could help to ensure that the Red Cross maintains an adequate supply during the holidays. The drive is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum, 101 S. Madison St.
To make an appointment at The Pantagraph drive or another Red Cross blood drive, call 800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org.
To make an appointment for an upcoming Central Illinois Community Blood Center drive, call 866-GIVE-BLD or visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org.
What: Pantagraph Holiday Blood Drive
When: Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: U.S. Cellular Coliseum, downtown Bloomington
Appointments: Can be made by calling 800-733-2767 or visiting www.redcrossblood.org
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