Blood donations drop during holidays; Red Cross holding two majo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Blood donations drop during holidays; Red Cross holding two major drives this week

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - The holidays are almost over but the need for blood donations is not. In fact, this time of year the Red Cross says it increases.

Holiday travel, shopping for Christmas and winter storms all keep people away.

"This time of year is traditionally challenging time for blood donations," Red Cross Spokesperson Lindsay English said.

Which is why the Red Cross is putting a call out for help, trying to find people willing to give their time and the gift of life.

"Obviously there are still patients that are spending this time of year in the hospital, and they do need blood."

The River Valley Blood Services region serves about 60 hospitals in 68 counties around Louisville.

"We need to collect close to 400 units a day to service everybody in our area," English said.

Winter is historically one of the hardest times of the year to get donations. Besides the busy holiday season, illnesses like the flu can make people temporarily ineligible. The bad weather doesn't help and can also cancel blood drives.

A mobile donor bus sitting outside Sister Bean's Coffee House on New Cut Road had more than 20 donors in four hours on Sunday.

"I've donated almost a gallon ... I'm at seven pints now," JCTC nursing student Carly Thomson said. “I get to see ... people that are sick and that really need the blood, and it makes you feel good."

Plus, it doesn't cost a thing.

"You can save three lives with just your one donation, so it really does make an impact almost immediately," English said.

She points out that every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion, and you never know when you or someone you love might be next.

"The gratification of giving is pretty instant," English said. "You give and then you know that in just a few days that blood is going to someone in need."

The Red Cross is holding its 37th annual Holiday Hero Donorama blood drive Monday and Tuesday.

You can give from noon until 7 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near the fairgrounds.

You'll also get a free long-sleeved T-shirt and a $5 gift check to KFC.

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