Tomah Health and Versiti Blood Center officials are asking area residents to help with a serious need for blood by donating Aug. 9 or 10 in Tomah.
“Overall, blood drives during the summer have been very challenging,” said Versiti Blood Center account representative Emalea Cogdill. She said that with people enjoying summer vacations and the lack of school drives, the area blood supply has been strained the last few months. “We are having a very difficult time refilling our donor pool,” Cogdill explained. “We lose more donors than we gain due to health reasons and other things, so rebuilding that donor pool with new donors is critical to providing a stable blood supply.”
To help meet the need, Tomah Health and Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin are holding a two-day blood drive Aug. 9 & 10 from noon – 5 p.m. at Tomah’s Recreation Park, 1625 Butts Ave. Tomah. Everyone who attempts to donate, will receive a coupon for a free pint of Culver’s Frozen Custard courtesy of Culver’s of Tomah. “We truly appreciate the partnership with Culver’s of Tomah to help us attract additional donors for our drives,” said Tomah Health marketing & public relations director Eric Prise. “This unique, ‘Give a Pint- Get a Pint’ promotion is another way that Culver’s supports our local community.”
To donate blood, a person must be in good health, at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and have photo identification. Sixteen-year-olds may also donate with parental consent. While the process for whole blood donation usually takes about one hour, the blood collection itself is usually about 10 minutes.
Versiti Blood Center is the sole blood supplier to over 50 hospital systems in Wisconsin including Tomah Health, the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center and numerous other hospitals in the Coulee Region. “A stable and ready blood supply is critical to the health of a community, so always maintaining that supply before it is actually needed is what we need to do. We cannot manufacture blood and it does have a shelf life,” said Cogdill.