By Charlene Bielema
A car crash.
Ongoing medical treatment.
There are many reasons why a patient may end up needing the donation of blood.
And right now, the Gateway Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is putting out a call for people to donate.
Agency officials said this morning that donations are down in the Gateway area. With blood a constant need, they are asking residents to commit to giving. According to the American Red Cross, that agency is the nation’s largest blood collection organization, supplying more than 40 percent of the blood and blood products used in the US. Each year, the volunteers and employees of American Red Cross Blood Services collect approximately 6.5 million units of blood, from roughly 4 million volunteer blood donors. From these donations, the Red Cross is able to distribute around 9.5 million blood products each year, including 6 million units of red blood cells, to patients at approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
The local Red Cross office on Wednesday announced it has set up a blood drive for Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its office at 1220 13th Ave. North to assist in filling the need. To sign up, visit www.redcrossblood.org and search by zip code (52732) or date. You also can view a list of other blood drive dates and locations at that website.The donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes about an hour and 15 minutes, while the donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes on average. For help signing up or questions, contact Rachael Vopatek at firstname.lastname@example.org.