“Nationwide there is less than a five day supply of blood on hand,” stated local blood drive chairman Margaret Skoog. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, which is the blood bank the Milbank area uses, they currently need more blood than they are taking in. In response, the Milbank Bloodmobile will host a blood drive Tuesday, July 12 at the Milbank High School cafeteria.
Skoog reports only about 5% of the population in the United States donates blood, but Milbank exceeds that average. Milbank traditionally collects 110 units during each drive; the goal for this drive is 139 units. That total is in addition to the fall and spring drives done through the school. Students are also welcome to donate at this drive and will receive four hours of community service.
Any healthy individual, 17 years or older, weighing at least 110 pounds, will be considered for donation. Teens age 16 may also donate with proper forms and parental consent. Only a few medications will defer a donor. Included generally are drugs that thin the blood and medications for prostate health. Individuals who are cancer survivors are eligible to give if they meet the criteria. For specific requirements, please check the American Red Cross website. Skoog advises donors to eat and drink healthy the day before and the day of the event to get the best results. She said, “It is best to eat salty foods such as crackers, chips, and even cheese which holds fluids in.”
Appointments are strongly encouraged. Callers for this drive, Ione Brehmer, Val Barse, Mary Skoog, and Lori Dietmeier, have bee calling past donors. Anyone not receiving a call but wishing to donate should call Margaret Skoog at 880-0435 or any of the callers. All donors must present an American Red Cross donor card and state-issued photo ID. Walk-ins will also be accepted, but are encouraged to do so between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m.
Members of the St. Lawrence Catholic Church parish, with Joan Frerichs as chairman, will assist with the drive.