Life-savers: blood donors needed during holiday season

Geannine Purpura
Posted at 9:00 AM, Dec 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-23 11:00:20-05

GREAT FALLS — The American Red Cross supplies blood to many of the hospitals in the region and they are seeing a need for blood donations, especially during this time of year when supplies are down. With more people traveling, hospitals are prepared for an increase in accidents which in turn increases the need for blood - and when it’s not available there can be serious consequences.

Carmen Madsen, Red Cross’s Donor Recruitment District Manager, says that the holiday season is the most difficult time for red cross to receive blood. “This time of year, is really challenging for blood collections, primarily because people are busy.” She explained. “Overall, we're doing okay as a national system, but locally in Montana, the weathers really impacted us. And of course, as we head into the holidays, it just becomes more and more challenging.”

Even the weather has an impact during this time of year. Carmen went on to explain that multiple blood drives have been cancelled this year due to the weather. “Across the state, we've already canceled seven blood drives this month, and so we've lost like over 240 units of blood from those cancelations.”

To put into perspective, someone who has cancer might need a daily intake of two units of blood. A car crash can even take up to 100 units of blood. To save someone's life is only possible when the blood supply is available.

One blood donator at the Red Cross has experienced a time when she was in need of blood. Now having survived the circumstance, Geannine Purpura takes the time to donate her own blood in hopes to help the cause and save a life just as hers was saved all those years ago.

“When I gave birth to my son, I required blood services from Red Cross, so I recognize the need. The need for blood doesn't stop because it's Christmas or Thanksgiving. So, while I’m in town, I try to donate it.” She explained while in the blood donating chair.

If you’re interested in giving a pint of blood this holiday season, visit the Red Cross website.