Doña Ana County and Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services will host a holiday blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday Dec. 6 in the north wing of the Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 N. Motel Blvd.
During the holiday season, blood reserves decrease significantly making it more difficult to help people who need it. Since blood has a shelf life of 42 days, donations given now can save lives through the holidays.
All walk-ins are welcome and appointments are available every 20 minutes throughout the morning. To make an appointment for a screening and donation, call Janine Divyak at the Doña Ana County Planning Department at (575) 525-6130. Donors will receive a snack, a t-shirt and Hero in Me points. These are cumulative points awarded to blood donors that can be traded for items or gift cards.
Giving blood usually takes less than an hour and the collected donations save lives throughout our region. The staff at Vitalant screens each applicant before inviting qualified donors to take a seat in one of the comfortable recliners, where the donations are collected.
All materials used in the donation process are sterile and disposable. Donors cannot contract any blood-borne disease by giving blood. All donated blood is labeled by type to determine the A-B-O group and the Rh factor. Then, blood is tested for safety, including a test for HIV. Tainted blood is not distributed. Most units of accepted blood are separated into several components, enabling one donation can help several people.
The blood drive is open to the public. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids prior to donating. Wear clothing with short sleeves or with sleeves that can easily be rolled up, above the elbow. Please bring a photo ID and a list of medications you are currently taking.