Local blood center in need of donations

[anvplayer video=”5149514″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – If you’re thinking about giving back this holiday season, have you thought about giving blood?

By sixty minutes in a chair, you can save up to three lives.

“This is the way in which you can save someone’s life, someone’s mom, someone’s dad, someone’s child during the holidays,” explains Mayo Clinic Pathologist Justin E. Juskewitch, M.D., Ph.D..

One year ago, the American Red Cross declared a national blood crisis, experiencing its worst blood shortage in over a decade.

While a supply crisis isn’t expected this year, the holidays are still a time when blood centers find themselves in need.

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester, MN provides 70% or more of all blood products used at Mayo Clinic Rochester to treat patients.

“We use a lot of our blood products to help support cancer patients through their care, in the emergency departments, in the OR, if people come in with trauma or other major surgery, that’s all a big user of the blood products we collect,” says Dr. Juskewitch.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the blood center has seen a roller coaster of surplus and dire need.

During the holidays, that need rises again.

“Donors are traveling all around the country visiting family,” says Dr. Juskewitch. “So they’re not around to give their usual donations. We also see more people traveling during the holidays, so we end up seeing more need because of accidents and stuff like that.”

Currently, the blood center is experiencing an immediate and urgent need for type O-negative blood.

“Because it is the universal donor,” says Dr. Juskewitch. “It can go to anyone who’s coming through the doors who is in desperate need.”

If you’re not o-negative or don’t even know your blood type, you can still make a difference.

To find more information about being a blood donor, click here.