During the holiday season, the American Red Cross sees a dip in blood donations.
With smaller drives all around the central Ohio area and the annual NBC4 drive happening next Thursday, on Jan. 3, the Red Cross is reminding people that while donations are down, the need for blood is constant.
“Regardless of the fact that we have Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, other holidays happening, patients still need blood in the hospital every single day of the year,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for the American Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region.
Wilson said 97 percent of people in the U.S. know someone who’s alive because of a blood transfusion.
“The need for blood touches all of us, whether you know somebody who has survived cancer, had surgery or hemorrhaged giving birth,” Wilson said.
On average, Wilson said, about 550 blood donations are needed daily in central Ohio to support patients at more than 40 hospitals in the area. The Red Cross aims to keep a three-day supply of donations at its center, but that’s just not possible during the holiday season.
The NBC4 and WNCI Blood Give-In will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3. The goal is 330 blood donations or nearly 10 times what most smaller drives are able to get. The drive takes place at the Crowne Plaza in Dublin.
“It’s strategically timed because of the fact that the two-week holiday period sees a big drop in blood donations,” Wilson said. “We know right after the New Year’s, patients are still going to need blood and supplies are going to be very tight. It’s so important that people donate right after the New Year.”