Red Cross considers blood drive a major success

One unit of blood can save up to three lives.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Red Cross is already calling the blood drive held at the 22News studio on Broadcast Center a major success. The drive kicked off during our Mass Appeal broadcast at 11 a.m. Wednesday and ends at 6 p.m.

Red Cross Communication Manager Alyson Barraza said that they’ve issued an emergency call for donors. “We are in the midst of a severe winter blood shortage,” she said. “What that means is during the holiday season of November and December, we actually fell about 37,000 units short across the country of blood.”

Donating is easy and can save up to three lives. As long as you weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health you can donate.

“It’s very easy,” Chicopee resident Sharon Turcotte told 22News. “Now you can go online and do the Rapid Pass, fill that out ahead of time. You fill that out and lay down, they take some blood and people take very good care of you.”

The appointment list was packed with people — and walk ins were accommodated too. The Red Cross needs all blood types but especially O Negative type blood. Barraza explained that “In a situation where seconds count and there is no time to match that patient’s type of blood, say in a trauma situation, many people can be administered O Negative.”

Donors like Robert Meehan say that it gives them a good feeling. “They should come in and try it,” he said. “It’s very easy. It only takes a few minutes and it’s over and done with.”

And once it was done, donors were treated to baked goods provided by Dunkin Donuts and given a $5 gift card.

If you missed our 22News blood drive, you can still do your part. There will be a drive tomorrow at the Greenfield YMCA. You can also look for other blood drives on the Red Cross website.