American Red Cross Holds Emergency Drive

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) "It comes at a critical time," said Sherri Phinney of the American Red Cross, "We are holding an emergency blood drive for the purpose of collecting emergency blood. We have been left this summer in dire straits."

A drive in Bangor Friday aimed to refill dwindling supplies.

"We are at a critical need right now," said Craig Babin, the Team Supervisor for the drive, "So, what we need is people to come in that are the right types" he said.

The Red Cross will take all donors, but those with O Negative, O Positive, and A and B Negative are the "right types" and can give what's called a Power Red donation.

"The needle goes in" said Babin, "It will draw their blood, it will go into what we call a centrifuge, and it will separate your plasma components from your red blood cell components."

Essentially getting a double donation from a single person.

"I'm O Negative, which means everybody can use my blood," said Kevin O'Connell of Brewer, "So, I know it's needed and I know it's going to be used and I know there's a need. There's an absolute need."

"25% of our blood inventories actually comes from our schools and colleges, said Phinney, "So, when we reach the summer months, we've already had a huge loss to our inventory base."

"We want to make sure that if you haven't donated that you will come back because it's something that we always need someone to do," said Babin.

"The hardest part is all the paperwork, but you have to document. I understand that," said O'Connell as he was donating, "But doing this this is the easy part right here."

And if you missed Friday's drive, it doesn't mean you missed out.

"Go on redcrossblood.org and you'll find all the blood drives in your area" stressed Phinney, "Please consider coming in. Bring a friend. Remember, the person receiving your blood, you may not know who they are, but they are never going to forget you."

"It's the right thing to do," said O'Connell, "Someday you might need the blood."