Versiti hosting 20th Annual Season of Giving Blood Drive Dec. 28-29

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Before you end 2020, you can help give one of the most precious gifts of all. Blood donors are asked to visit the 20th Annual Season of Giving Blood Drive taking place Monday, Dec. 28 and Tuesday, Dec. 29. 

According to a news release from Versiti, blood donations are especially needed this time of year, when donations tend to go down because of additional family commitments. Donations of all blood types are needed, but there is a critical need for O negative donors who carry the universal blood type given to patients in emergency situations.

The 20th Annual Season of Giving Blood Drive takes place Monday, Dec. 28 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 29 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Milwaukee County Zoo Peck Welcome Center, 10001 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee.

“The need for blood never ends, and it is a critical need,” says Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical officer at Versiti. “Now more than ever, Versiti Blood Centers needs people to step forward for their community and save a life by donating blood. In a year like 2020, when so much feels out of our control, the selfless act of blood donation lets you make a life-saving gift for free.”

Every two seconds, someone needs life-saving blood to survive, Versiti says. While medical technology has provided many life-saving discoveries over the years, there still is no substitute for blood, making it essential to hospitals every day of the year.

During the drive, Versiti will also be collecting COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) from eligible donors who’ve been pre-qualified. COVID Convalescent Plasma is a blood-related therapy used by hospitals to treat the most severely affected patients. The donated plasma contains antibodies, which can help seriously ill patients fight the infection.

Due to COVID-19, safety precautions will be in place, including social distancing and mandatory masks. COVID-19 antibody tests are being performed on all donations as part of Versiti’s standard testing. The test will inform the donor if they have antibodies reflective of a prior COVID-19 infection.

To schedule an appointment, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO (1-877-232-4376) or CLICK HERE. Appointments are preferred, but walk-in donors are also welcome. The entire process takes about an hour. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes birth date.

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