This article was originally published on wrcbtv.com.
Blood Assurance is asking the community to consider scheduling an appointment for blood donations this holiday season.
Officials say blood donations have a shelf life of 42 days, so the blood must be used during this time frame. Blood donors are needed on a continuous basis to maintain a steady supply of blood to local hospitals serviced by Blood Assurance.
After individuals donate blood, they have eight weeks until they are able to donate again.
“We are incredibly grateful to each and every blood donor who answers the call to donate blood and helps us meet the needs of local hospital patients,” said Mindy Quinn, marketing manager for Blood Assurance.
“The need for blood is constant; however, it is often increased during the holidays and must be replenished by those of us in the community who are able to donate. We encourage everyone to stop by a Blood Assurance donor center or bloodmobile during the already busy holiday months to help save lives in the community.”
Officials say blood donations are historically low during the holidays due to travel and family gatherings, while blood utilization is higher due to an increase in trauma incidents.
Blood Assurance is also encouraging the community to consider donating platelets at their local blood donor center.
Each blood donation made in the month of December will go towards patients at the Children's Hospital at Erlanger for coloring books and crayons as a holiday gift.
Blood Assurance needs more than 540 volunteer donors a day to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in need.
Blood donation requirements:
- Must be at least 18 years old (16 or 17 years old with parental consent)
- Must weigh at least 110 lbs. or more and be in good health
- Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids, avoid caffeine, and eat a meal rich in iron prior to donating
For more information on Blood Assurance, donating blood or hosting a blood drive, visit the website.