The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is running low on blood. Officials with the center say they are only at a two-day supply of blood. Ideally, STBTC says they would like to be at a three-to-five-day supply.
To help challenge the community to get out and donate, STBTC is starting the Commit 4 Compassion challenge.
For the entire year, STBTC is encouraging everyone in our area to donate at least four times a year. Officials with the center say you can donate every eight weeks or 56 days.
“If we had everybody donate at least two times a year, it would make a significant impact to the blood supply. So, by donating four times a year, we would literally end the blood shortage,” said Francine Pina, Senior Manager for Marketing and Community Engagement at STBTC.
To help make this a challenge, after the first donation, donors will get a Commit 4 Commission T-shirt. On the T-shirt, there will be four boxes that can be checked off during each donation.
One reason officials say many people don’t donate is because they don’t know the process of donating and are scared.
“Most people don’t donate because they’re afraid. We really try to make the process as easy as possible,” Pina said.
The process of donating can be broken up into three parts — signing up, completing a health questionnaire and donating.
You can sign up for a blood drive by heading to the STBTC website.
There you will get the option to pick from 9 donor locations or you can pick to participate in any local blood drives.
Appointments are not required but are recommended.
After signing up, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire. This takes about 10 minutes.
When you get to your donation appointment, you will do a day of health screening that includes getting your blood pressure, temperature and iron checked. This will take about 10 minutes.
After the health screening, the actual blood donation process will take about 10 minutes.
Anyone over the age of 16 can donate, however, a parent must give consent for their 16-year-old to donate.