Blood drive aims to ease shortage

If you go

What: Blood Drive

When: 12:30 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 28

Where: Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Avenue

Call: 824-9411

— The Memorial Hospital and Bonfils Blood Center are encouraging local residents to come out for an Aug. 28 blood drive to help mitigate the annual shortage of summer blood donations.

Michelle Moore, blood drive coordinator with the hospital, said the shortage is the result of such things as people being out of town for vacations and unable to donate.

But the summer driving season also means an increased risk of traffic accidents, exacerbating the problem.

Moore said the hospital has had a couple incidents this summer when blood supplies were depleted and reserves had to be called in from other areas. This month's drive is one of five held per year.

Moore said that although there is a particular need in the summer, blood is needed the whole year round.

"There's always a blood shortage," Moore said.

Bonfils Blood Center estimates it needs 4,350 blood donors each week just to meet demand and also be prepared for unforeseen events.

Bonfils will travel from Denver to conduct the blood drive. Moore lauded the center for getting up at 3 a.m. to make the trip, conducting the drive and then traveling all the way back to Denver the same day.

Blood collected at the drive will go to a general blood bank in Denver that services 200 Colorado hospitals. It is a bank the hospital gets blood from, so Moore said there is a chance some of it will come back to Craig. Also, if there is a Craig patient requiring a lot of units, Moore said donors would have the ability to donate blood in their name.

Moore said the blood drive is a worthy cause.

"I don't like getting poked with needles either, but it's just a wonderful thing you can do for someone else," Moore said.

Drive participants are encouraged to eat a full meal and drink plenty of water before donating blood.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact The Memorial Hospital at 824-9411. Walk-ins also are welcome as space permits.

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