Red Cross offers incentives for blood donations due to supply shortage

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Pint by pint, the Red Cross continues its efforts to collect an ample blood supply.

A local drive took over part of Airport Christian Fellowship Church on Thursday. Donors were lining up to help the cause and right now it’s more important than ever.

“The Red Cross is working around the clock to try to provide hospitals with the blood products that they need as they respond to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits,” said Jerilyn DePasquale, an account manager with Red Cross blood services.

There’s also been an influx in surgeries and other medical services that were put off during the pandemic that are now being rescheduled, furthering the increased need for blood.

Darsi Reardon is a frequent donor, this being her 12th time. She says when she heard about the shortage, she felt it was time to come again.

“Occasionally, there have been people in my life who have needed a transfusion,” Reardon said. “Watching them benefit from getting blood is night and day.”

The Red Cross says a pint of blood can help save three lives but the shelf life of red blood cells is only 42 days, meaning there is a constant need for donors

DePasquale says the Red Cross will continue to be on the move in the coming weeks to try to get as many donors as they can and if you do donate in the month of July, there are some incentives.

“From July 7th to the 31st, anyone who comes out and donates will get a $10 Amazon gift card and also be entered to win a year’s worth of gas which is valued at $5.000,” she said, “so it’s great incentives to come help us save some lives and to benefit a little bit from that.”

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