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Blood shortage continues, donors urged to help


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Hospitals, the American Red Cross, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin are all urging people to donate blood.

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin is even offering an incentive for donors at their upcoming Rothschild blood drive. Coordinator Vicki Bohman says anyone that donates blood at Rothschild can have a one day pass to the Wisconsin Valley Fair.

Bohman says the summer is a busy time of the year for everyone, and it’s also when schools are out... and they rely heavily on students to donate blood. “Schools bring in a good portion of our blood supply, so when high schools and universities aren’t in session, that impacts our ability to collect blood.”

If you’re considering making a blood donation, Bohman says you should take a couple of simple steps before going and remember your photo ID. “You should bring along a photo ID such as a driver’s license. That’s always a good thing to have with you. Make sure you’re hydrated, especially in this heat. You want to make sure you’re pushing your fluids (with) lots of water.”

Demand is heavy for all types of blood right now, but there is especially a need for type O-negative. “If you do have O-negative blood, I really encourage you to come in and donate because your blood type is always in demand. If you don’t know your blood type, becoming a blood donor is a great way to get a free blood test.” Bohman says O-negative is the universal donor, but about half of the population has O-positive, which keeps it high in demand, also.

Blood may have a shelf life of nearly forty-two days, but Bohman says blood donated today will be tested tonight and delivered to a hospital tomorrow. That’s how low the supplies are right now.

The Rothschild blood drive is Friday, July 19th, Monday, July 22nd, Tuesday, July 23rd, and Friday, July 26th. You can call toll-free 888-310-7555 to make appointments or ask questions. You can also make appointments online for the Rothschild Community Blood Drive here.