The American Red Cross is coming to Eastern Idaho Nov. 17 to Nov. 30., with opportunities for locals to donate blood.
The American Red Cross recently released a news release that said during the holiday season, the Red Cross usually has a “slump” of blood donations. This year, the pandemic is an added challenge. Not only are there fewer donations, but it is more difficult for the Red Cross to go to universities, schools and offices for donations, because of added safety measures.
“Somewhere in the U.S., someone needs lifesaving blood every two seconds. That could be someone undergoing cancer treatment, someone in a car crash, or a burn victim, someone going through surgery… It’s just so important,” said Matt Ochsner, regional communications director for the American Red Cross.
While there may be a lack of donations during this time of the year, there certainly isn’t a lack of people who need donations. Emergency situations and surgeries don’t stop during the holiday season.
“It’s a difficult time to collect right now. The need for blood remains constant. That is why we’re encouraging people, if you’re healthy, to come out and give,” Ochsner said.
Ochsner said donating blood is not a difficult experience and takes anywhere from eight to 10 minutes for the actual donation. A typical donor is there for about an hour from start to finish.
There is also a Red Cross Blood Donor app, which makes it easier to register to donate blood. The app also tracks where your blood goes. A couple weeks after your donation, the app will show which hospital or medical center your blood was sent to.
“It’s a great feeling to follow the path of the blood from your arm to somebody else’s arm who is really counting on it,” Ochsner said.
After a few weeks, the app will show if you have COVID-19 antibodies in your blood.
The Red Cross is coming to Madison County Saturday, Nov. 21. Donation dates vary, and some counties have multiple dates to donate. Dates, times and locations for blood donations in Eastern Idaho are available online at redcrossblood.org. You can also call 1-800-Red Cross for more information.