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Blood donations desperately needed


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Blood centers everywhere are trying to get more blood donors during the difficult summer months. Vicki Bohman from the BloodCenter of Wisconsin says donations go down in the summer because everyone is so busy, but it’s also when blood is most needed.

Bohman says the current blood drive today, Monday, and Tuesday has a little extra incentive or reward for donating.  “Summer is a critical time for blood donations, so to help encourage people to come out and donate, and also to thank our loyal blood donors, we are offering a free one-day pass to the Wisconsin Valley Fair.”

Walk ins are welcome, but donors are encouraged to call to make appointments if time is an issue. You can call 888-310-7555 to set up a time. Bohman says it takes about an hour, and there are three more blood drives including today.  “We will be at the Rothschild Village Hall from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and then again on Monday the 28th from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Tuesday the 29th from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.”

Donors do need to remember their identification, and should eat and drink well before donating. “You should bring along a photo ID such as a driver’s license. It’s also very important that you make sure you eat a nutritious meal prior to donating blood, and that you are well hydrated (with) lots of water or juice the day before, the day of, and again following your donation.”

Guidelines for donating blood are different than they were many years ago. Bohman says many young people and people with tattoos believe they are not welcome. She says that’s simply not true. “Seventeen and older, you don’t need a consent form and there is no upper age limit, so again, as long as you’re in good health, and you can be taking a number of medications. They no longer defer you from donating. Tattoos no longer defer you from donating as long as the tattoo was done in Wisconsin at a licensed facility.  If it was done out of state, you can donate one year from the date that you had the tattoo.”

All blood types are needed right now, especially O-negative.