Community blood drive set to help avoid winter blood shortages

It might look like a winter wonderland at times, but the winter weather is no wonderland for hospital patients who depend on blood to keep them healthy and alive. Woonsocket residents are gearing up for a community blood drive to help prevent possible blood shortages in the coming weeks.

“In areas with harsh winter weather, cold weather and storms often keep people from donating blood,” says Rob Miller, Donor Recruitment Manager of United Blood Services. “With fewer people donating blood, some parts of the country run the risk of having critical blood shortages,” Miller says.

To make sure there’s a dependable blood supply locally, Catholic Daughters of America has scheduled a community blood drive on Friday, Feb. 9, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call Carrie Howard at 770-8997. The drive will be held at the Community Center.

“For those who are out and about and the winter weather hasn’t dampened their routine, we invite them to stop by the blood drive and donate blood,” Miller says.

United Blood Services provides a free cholesterol screening with each donation. Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.

To help speed up the process, donors can now complete their Health History the day of their donation by visiting www.unitedbloodservices.org.

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