BloodCenter of Wisconsin officials are asking area residents to help with a need for blood by donating from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 at Tomah Memorial Hospital.

BCW blood program consultant Jennifer Stelzer said due to the end of summer and the Labor Day holiday, BCW is in need of donors and blood donations, especially type O negative blood that is given to patients in emergency situations.

“There’s no better way to give back to the community and save lives than through the gift of a blood donation,” Stelzer said. “It’s donations made today that help patients in need tomorrow.”

Stelzer said BloodCenter needs to collect about 800 units of blood each day to meet the needs of patients in Wisconsin. BloodCenter is the sole supplier of blood to 57 hospitals in Wisconsin including Tomah Memorial.

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. Forms are available at Tomah Memorial, and online with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin at www.bcw.edu.

Appointments are strongly recommended for the Sept. 27 drive and can be made online at www.tomahhospital.org.

TMH marketing and public relations director Eric Prise said even though donating blood is quick, easy and safe, there are things donors should do before giving.

“It’s very important to be well hydrated,” he said.

Prise said donors should double their fluid intake the morning of a donation by drinking water or juice. Prise said it is also key to have a good dinner the night before, and eat breakfast the morning of the blood donation.

“Area residents have been outstanding to meet our call for blood in the past, and we hope that trend continues Sept. 27,” Prise said.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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