Tomah blood drive set to help rebound from donation lag because of COVID-19

Versiti 2
(Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin photo)

TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) – Increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases have created a blood shortage and prompted Tomah Health and Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin to schedule a blood drive Sept. 22 and 23.
Versiti mobile collections are down more than 16,000 units of blood this year because of the pandemic, said Versiti account representative Emalea Cogdill.
“To maintain a three-day supply of lifesaving blood, Versiti needs on average 10,500 donors per week across its footprint,” Cogdill said.
The blood drive will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 22 and 23, at Tomah Recreation Park at 1625 Butts Ave. The park is being used because of COVID visitor restrictions at Tomah Health.
All blood types are needed, Cogdill said, to ensure that Versiti has the blood needed to serve community hospitals and maintain a stable blood supply. Versiti is the sole supplier of blood to nearly 50 hospitals in the Badger State, including Tomah Health.
To donate blood, a person must be in good health, at least 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and have photo identification. Sixteen-year-olds may also donate with parental consent.
Versiti officials noted that the donation process itself poses no risk of infecting a donor with coronavirus. The SARS CoV-2 antibody test is included in the donation process as part of standard testing.

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