Last July River Falls donors were bloody generousRecord numbers of donors turned out locally in response to a sudden drop in the nation’s blood supply, overwhelming Red Cross staffers during a two-day drive at the American Legion hall on North Main Street.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
Record numbers of donors turned out locally in response to a sudden drop in the nation’s blood supply, overwhelming Red Cross staffers during a two-day drive at the American Legion hall on North Main Street.
Some people giving blood had to wait 45 minutes or more. Others pressed for time had to leave.
Even so a record 225 people gave a record 273 pints of blood in River Falls on July 26 and 27. On the first day alone, 120 people gave 142 pints.
Jerry Matteson, American Legion blood-drive program coordinator, said the Red Cross will boost its staff for the Thursday/Friday, Nov. 15/16, blood drive.
That means going from 12 Red Cross staffers to 18.
“It’s the demand and it’s created by numbers,” Matteson said. “That’s why we went from a one-day blood drive to a two-day drive. Numbers, people that come to give blood. We have big numbers for our legion’s blood drive.”
Last summer’s national blood shortage was alleviated by robust blood drives like the American Legion’s in River Falls.
Matteson said all that, however, is history.
“Whole blood has a shelf life of 40 days,” he said. “So the need is continuous. We’re probably not as critically short as we were, but there is a constant need to renew the nation’s blood supply.”
According to the regional Red Cross in St. Paul, the national blood supply dropped again because of Hurricane Sandy and the related East Coast storms in late October. Many local blood drives were canceled.
The Red Cross’s message: “All eligible donors in unaffected parts of the country are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and give blood.”
Call Matteson at home to set up an appointment to be a blood donor in River Falls at the American Legion Hall.
The local blood drive is from 1-7 p.m. Nov. 15 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16.
Matteson’s number is 715-426-5521. If he doesn’t answer, leave a message. He’ll call right back.
More details on this story may be found in the Nov. 8 print edition of the River Falls Journal.