The end of the year holidays always bring the sounds of jingle bells, ho-ho-ho’s and cries of help from blood centers that are desperately seeking donors. Diane Hayes is the donor recruiter for the American Red Cross chapter that covers southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Hayes says everyone’s so busy during the holidays and think someone else will get there to donate instead of them and it’s just not the case. She says all types of blood is needed but there are specific types that are more in demand than others. There’s a critical need for O-negative blood and there’s been a one-day supply for several days, also O-positive and B-negative, but Hayes adds, “if it’s red, we need it.” She says for those who have never donated blood, the process is relatively painless and quick. A questionnaire must be completed each time one donates a pint of blood. Hayes says the federal drug administration requires the testing of blood to be sure it does not contain any viruses of any type including AIDS or HIV. For information on your nearest American Red Cross blood center, call 800 GIVE LIFE.
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