Red Cross officials say need for blood is critical

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The need for blood here at the Red Cross is constant.

Image Source: MGN

"Blood is perishable so under the very best of circumstances people donating blood here today it has a shelf life of 42 days," said Mary Brant, American Red Cross.

This time of year blood donation is typically low due to holiday schedules and the weather.

"The storm that we had last week cancelled quite a few blood drives and hundreds of units of blood went uncollected," said Brant.

Units of blood that go to patients battling medical situations like cancer.

"Particularly cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation can need blood or platelets on a daily basis," said Brant.

That's why they rely so heavily on blood donors. Donors they value.

"The donations that are taken here today everyone of them can help up to three people," said Brant.

The blood donation process really is easy. It takes about an hour from start to finish.

"That whole time is not donating blood. You have to fill out health history and there's some reading to do and the entire blood donation takes about ten minutes and then we encourage people to sit down and have a bite to eat," said Brant.

"It's without pain. It's very comfortable to come here. Very relaxed," said Alan Hess.

Some years back Hess became a regular donor. He's given about a gallon of blood over the years as a way to give back.

"It's just a short hour to do something that's very important," said Hess.

WABI is partnering with the American Red Cross this Friday for our second annual holiday blood drive, from two locations.

A drive will be held at Sea Dog Brewing Company in Bangor, another at Stanley Subaru in Ellsworth.

Donors are urged to sign up for an appointment.

T-shirts will be given away, and donors will be sent a $5 Amazon gift card.

To schedule your appointment, go to redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code "WABI."