Red Cross, Bellin Health to hold winter blood drive

12/12/2011

Maintaining the local blood supply is especially challenging during the winter months. That’s why the American Red Cross is teaming up with Bellin Health to host a winter blood drive.

The blood drive, scheduled for 6:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, will be held in Bellin Hospital’s Laird Welcome Center at 744 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay.

Organizers hope to collect about 50 pints of blood, said Dave Liethen, donor recruitment representative for the Badger Hawkeye Region of the American Red Cross.

“Collection goals are based on the number of pints needed for patients at area hospitals, as well as patients throughout the country,” he said. Bellin Health each month transfuses about 300 units of blood to patients.

The December 21 blood drive seeks all blood types to ensure a reliable supply for patients, Liethen said. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required. Appointments are appreciated but walk-ins are also welcomed. Participating donors will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card.

“The winter months have proven to be a challenging time for collecting blood and platelets,” said John Haas, American Red Cross. “Holiday travel, inclement weather and seasonal illnesses can all affect donors’ ability to give. However, patients aren’t able to take a holiday from needing lifesaving blood transfusions.”

Only 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood and only a fraction of those actually donate, so the Red Cross has been sharing a viral video “The Perfect Gift” highlighting the importance of donations. The video can be viewed at http://www.redcrossblood.org/perfectgift and can be shared freely via personal email, online newsletter, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and other viral vehicles.

For more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); Debbie Leoni, Bellin Health Community Outreach at (920) 433-7855; or visit the American Red Cross local chapter’s website at http://www.redcrossblood.org/badgerhawkeye.