EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The American Red Cross is partnering with Eyewitness News, Townsquare Media and Eastland Mall to encourage eligible donors to start the new year off with a blood donation.
The New Year, New Life Blood Drive is taking place Friday, January 10 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Eastland Mall on the Dillard’s wing in the 800 block of N. Green River Rd.
All donors will receive a free long-sleeved Red Cross t-shirt while supplies last.
Free CPR training classes will be held at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.
“The Red Cross is thrilled to partner with Eyewitness News, Townsquare Media and Eastland Mall to celebrate National Blood Donor Month,” said Cyndi Dahl, Red Cross regional donor services executive. “Every day, hundreds of patients across the region are dependent on voluntary blood donors to help them fight for their lives. We’re urging eligible donors to share their good health and resolve to give at the New Year, New Life Blood Drive.”
The Red Cross faces an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types, especially type O.
You can make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
The New Year, New Life Blood Drive comes as the Red Cross faces an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, to give now to ensure blood is available for medical treatments and emergencies this winter.
Theo Boots and Karen Robertson from the American Red Cross joined us Monday to talk about the event.
Transcription of interview
Shelley Kirk: Thank you all for being here. We were just talking about flu season. How does that impact donations?
Theo Boots: December is a tough month because of that. People typically get sick during that time and they’re busy with the holidays, sometimes traveling. And also weather in some areas can shut down blood drives. I think we had 500 blood drives shut down across the nation in the month of December.
SK: I think that’s something we take for granted: having the blood supply there. Why is it so important and why can it affect every single one of us?
Karen Robertson: Every day here in the US, we need about 13,000 units of blood. That’s a daunting number for some people because we have emergencies that need blood but we have everyday patients that rely on blood due to a diagnosis they have. So, we’re encouraging everyone who has not donated to come out and make a commitment in this new year to become a blood donor. And we’re encouraging others who maybe donate once or twice a year to donate more regularly so that we can make the hospital’s commitments.
SK: You need any type of blood but there are some more needed.
TB: O negative and O positive is needed. O negative is the universal blood type. It’s used in emergencies by medical personnel. Locally, we need 240 units a day to satisfy the need in our local blood region.
KR: And the blood needs to be there on the shelves. The blood on the shelves is what saves the lives. People can always say I’ll donate later, but if the blood isn’t there, that patient’s life is at-risk.
SK: And you said three day supply just a moment ago?
KR: Yes, less than three day supply.
SK: For anyone who hasn’t donated before, tell us about it. What do they need to know before they go in there?
KR: Well, 16 is the minimum age with parental consent.
SK: I’m going to interrupt for just a second. My producer says your mic is gone so I apologize. So I’m going to have you finish.
TB: Sure, it’s really a very easy process. It takes about an hour to give blood. But you can shave off about 15 minutes if you fill out the rapid pass online. You can schedule your appointment, but we will take walk-ins. We encourage appointments because it will give us a better donor experience because we’ll know when there’s a time for you to donate blood. The process takes about an hour, but the actual blood being transported maybe takes 10 minutes.
SK: That’s not so bad.
TB: By the time you sign up, fill out your questionnaires, take your mini physical and all that.
SK: So block out that much time? And it’s really not hard. Great people involved and there’s usually some perks – great t-shirt and snacks. And we’re going to make it easy for folks this Friday.
TB: So this Friday, Eastland Mall, we’ll be there from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. We’ll also be teaching hands-only CPR. It only takes 20 minutes to learn. We’ll tell you about a preparedness program and volunteer opportunities. And hopefully recruit some volunteers. If you can’t donate, come on out but if you can, we’d love for you to come out.
SK: And this is at Eastland Mall, in the Dillard’s wing, all day?
TB: And you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to redcross.org to sign up for you rappointment?
SK: And even if they just show up, you’ll work with them?
TB: Yes, we’ll fit you in!
SK: Karen Robertson, I’m so sorry about the microphone situation but we appreciate you being here. And thank you Theo Boots and we’ll be talking about this a lot this week as we help bring the “New Year, New Life Blood Drive” this Friday at Eastland Mall.