Donating blood important during the holidays - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Donating blood important during the holidays

WOOD COUNTY (WAOW)--During the holiday season, blood donation is needed more than ever. According to the Red Cross, donations decline around the holidays. They attribute that to people getting sick, or traveling. But, every two seconds, someone needs blood, which is why donating is so important.  

Only 38 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood. That's one reason Waupaca native Kevin Derkowski donates on a regular basis.

"I donate platelets at least once a month. 12-14 times a year. Blood, I try to do 1-4 times a year," said Derkowski.

Red Cross officials say just three percent of those who can donate regularly actually do. That means there is always a need for more donations.

"I've never needed blood myself, but I just feel someday I might and this way, I'm ahead of the game and paying forward," Derkowski said.

Both whole blood and platelet donations are in high demand. Red Cross leaders say platelets are only good for about five days. Whole blood is good for around 42 days.

"I always do it around the holiday season. This is my Christmas donation. Last donation was for Pearl Harbor. I try to pick dates and kind of make it a goal," said Derkowski.

The Red Cross makes a big push for blood during the holidays. Once winter hits, officials say they notice a big decline in donations, but the need for it never goes down. One blood donation can save up to three lives. The Red Cross says donors are able to donate once every two months. 

To find blood drives in your area, you can visit or call 1-800-733-2767

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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