Flu-Related Illnesses slow blood donations
Eligible blood donors can give the gift of life this holiday season. The Community Blood Center encourages donations of blood, platelets or plasma. Busy holiday schedules and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can often mean fewer donors scheduling and keeping appointments. But for patients with cancer or other illnesses or injuries requiring blood transfusions, the need for blood is constant.
As donors struggle with cold or flu symptoms that can hang on for weeks, The Community Blood Center’s collections are down, and that means more healthy volunteers are needed to donate immediately to help ensure adequate blood products are on the shelves for the 18 area hospitals served including those in and around Rhinelander.
“We feel the impact flu season has on blood collections this time of year. Blood donors can only give blood if they are feeling well on the day of donation,” said Dr. Todd Straus, Chief Medical Office at The Community Blood Center. “I urge anyone who is feeling healthy this time of year to take a few minutes in their busy schedule to share their good health and save a life by donating blood.” Appointments may be made online at www.communityblood.org or by calling 800-280-4102.
The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.
The Community Blood Center is a non-profit organization that has worked with generous blood donors to provide a steady, reliable blood supply for hospital patients for over 50 years. Volunteers who donate blood support the local blood supply at 18 hospitals in Wisconsin and Michigan. Partnerships are created with community groups, schools, churches, and businesses to hold over 125 blood drives each month.