According to Margaret Skoog, coordinator of the Red Cross blood drive in Milbank, blood supply is very low. She says demand remains high, but only five percent of people able to give blood have actually seen the inside of the bloodmobile. That can change, though, when you make your appointment for the blood drive at Unity Square Tuesday February 19 from Noon until 6:00 pm.
Skoog offers these top 5 reasons for you to give blood:
1. It takes almost no time to help a lot of people.
2. It’s free.
3. It’s the easiest way to lose a pound.
4. When you finish, they give you cookies and cheese.
5. You never know when you or someone you love might be the one who needs blood.
Think you aren’t eligible? Many people believe they aren’t eligible to give blood because they take a prescription drug. According to Skoog, few medications disqualify donors. Possible exceptions are blood thinners or an antibiotic for a current infection. Cancer? If you’ve had cancer treatments, you must wait one year after the treatments are completed and until there are no further symptoms of cancer. Also, people who have required a unit or more of blood must wait a year to become a donor.
Ready to make an appointment? Go online to redcrossblood.org. Enter Milbank Community to see available appointments. According to Skoog, there is also a need for anyone with type O (+ or -) and A, B, and AB negative blood types for Power Units – giving two units at once. She says,” This is a popular choice for those who meet the requirements. Once donors do it, they want to do it every time.”
You will also need a Red Cross blood card or a state-issued identification card or driver’s license. Save time by going to redcrossblood.org on the day of the blood drive to fill out Rapid Pass. Print out the response and take it along or put it on your phone.
Skoog says, “The human body requires 56 days to produce a mature red blood cell and that is why you must wait at least 56 days between donations, and why the Red Cross limits the numbers of units you can give per year. She offers these tips for preparing for your donation:
1.Eat and drink as healthy as possible for several days before your donation. Raisins, dried apricots, molasses, and dried beans help keep the body’s iron level high. Try eating meat and eggs with a little orange juice – the vitamin C helps make the iron more accessible.
2. If healthcare workers have struggled to access one of your veins, call for additional ways to make the process easier and more comfortable. Contact Margaret Skoog RN, at 605.880.0435.