Wisconsin blood center launches summer drive

Person donating blood
File photo. [MGN Online/KTRE-TV (Raycom Media)]

MADISON (AP) – A Wisconsin blood center has launched a new donation drive in hopes of collecting hundreds of pints by mid-August.

Stevens Point Journal Media reported the nonprofit BloodCenter of Wisconsin kicked off its You to the Rescue campaign on Tuesday. The drive’s goal: 1,500 pints collected by Aug. 11.

Vicki Bohman, an account representative for the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, said the demand for blood rises in the summer because more people travel and get into crashes. But supply lags during the warmer months because high school and university students, who typically are steady donors, go on vacation. The need for O-negative blood is especially dire.

Fay Spano, a spokeswoman for BloodCenter of Wisconsin, said first responders will take appointment calls form donors at the center’s Milwaukee headquarters to raise awareness of the problem.

BloodCenter of Wisconsin runs 12 donation sites across the state. Anyone who is 16 or older, in general good health and meets eligibility requirements can donate. Anyone under 16 needs parental consent. Donors should plan for the process to take about an hour.

BloodCenter of Wisconsin supplies blood to 50 hospitals and 29 counties across Wisconsin. It also provides specialized blood testing for hospitals and physicians so they can diagnose blood and genetic disorders as well as match transplant patients with donors; conducts research on transfusions and blood-related illnesses and conditions such as heart disease, strokes, cancer and immune system disorders.

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