WICHITA — The American Red Cross urges those who have never given blood before – as well as those who haven’t given recently – to make an appointment to give blood or platelets now and help sustain a sufficient community blood supply this summer.
While the need for blood is constant during the summer months, the Red Cross experiences a drastic decline in new donors, according to Jan Hale, communications manager for the Central Plains Blood Services Region. Nationwide, about 32 percent fewer new blood donors, and more than 42 percent fewer in Kansas, came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year.
The blood donation process takes about an hour with the actual donation only taking about 10 minutes.
“In less time than it can take to go out to eat, you can make a lifesaving difference for cancer patients, accident victims and others in need,” Hale said.
Whether new to donating blood or a lifelong donor, the Red Cross offers helpful tips for an enjoyable donation experience:
• As much as possible, eat iron-rich foods leading up to your donation.
• Hydrate – drink an extra 16 oz. of liquid before and after the donation.
• Have a healthy meal before the donation.
• Wear comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow.
• Complete a RapidPass on the day of donation, prior to arriving, to save time.
• Remember to bring a picture ID, blood donor card or two other forms of identification.
The next opportunity to donate blood to the American Red Cross in Barton County will be from 1:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, June 12, at the Hoisington Activity Center, 1200 Susank Road.
Appointments can be scheduled by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)