Three steps to becoming a Red Cross summer blood donor

In June, the Red Cross joins blood collection agencies around the world mark World Blood Donor Day by raising awareness about the need for a readily available blood supply.

Donor Dates

Mid-Columbia residents have three chances to donate in the coming weeks:

Hood River

June 26 — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Walmart, 2700 Wasco Ave.

June 29 — 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tucker Road Baptist Church, 1455 Tucker Road

Cascade Locks

July 6 — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bonneville Lock and Dam

Donors can make an even greater impact by inviting others to join them in giving.

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood this summer for hospital patients in need and offers three steps people can take to help save lives:

  1. Use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment.

  2. Donors should remember to get a good night’s sleep, eat a nutritious meal and drink extra fluids.

  3. The donation process, start to finish, takes about an hour. The actual donation only takes about 10 minutes.

Only about 3 percent of the U.S. population gives blood, which means a heavy reliance on repeat donors to maintain a sufficient blood supply. New blood donors are especially needed during the summer months because many schools where blood drives are held — and where new donors give — are not in session, and current donors often delay giving due to summer vacations.

Patients such as Anna Schuster might not be here without volunteer blood donors. Doctors gave Schuster a 1 percent chance of survival after a collision with a semitrailer. During the first 12 hours after her accident, she received 65 units of blood. Schuster’s road to recovery has been long — 58 surgeries in the 12 years since her accident, including four in the past 14 months, with many of them requiring more blood transfusions.

Every day there are thousands of patients like Schuster who rely on lifesaving blood donations, according to the Red Cross. That’s why donors are urged to give now and give often.

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