CHENANGO COUNTY — The American Red Cross will be holding several blood drives in Chenango County through December and January. Donated blood can be used to help cancer, trauma, burn, and sickle cell patients, as well as patients with chronic diseases.
According to RedCross.org, donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have not donated blood in the last 56 days.
Additionally, donors must be in good health and feeling well the day of their donation. One of the most common reasons individuals are ineligible to donate include illness such as a cold, the flu, and other illnesses.
Other common reasons donors are ineligible are due to low iron, which may be remedied and allow them to donate in the future. Medications can disqualify some from donating, although most just may require a waiting period after the final dose. Living or traveling to a malaria-risk country in the last three years can also disqualify donors.
The American Red Cross recommends making an appointment to donate blood before the day of the drive, which can be done at RedCross.org/give.html/find-drive.
To physically prepare, they suggest eating foods rich in protein, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals, or raisins, as well as staying hydrated and well rested.
The day of a donation appointment, bring a donor card, driver's license, or two other forms of ID, as well as a complete list of medications. The American Red Cross also suggests drinking an extra 16 ounces of water or other non-alcoholic beverage, avoiding fatty foods, and wear a shirt with sleeves that can be rolled up above the elbow easily.
To stay comfortable, they encourage donors to tell volunteers if they have a preferred arm, or vein that has been used to successfully draw blood in the past. During the blood draw, donors are encouraged to relax, listen to music, read, or chat with other donors.
After donating blood, enjoy a snack and relax for a few minutes in the recovery area, drink extra water, and avoid alcohol for 24 hours. The American Red Cross says donors should also avoid heavy lifting or vigorous exercise after donating blood, and continue eating iron-rich foods. If any lightheadedness occurs, they recommend sitting or lying down until it passes.
To report any additional health information not disclosed before donating, or to report any problems or needed medical care after giving blood, call the American Red Cross at 1-866-236-3276.
For more information on donating blood, visit RedCross.org.
Chenango County Blood Drives
December 22: Guernsey Memorial Library, 3 Court Street in Norwich, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
December 22: New Berlin Fire Department, 3519 State Highway 8 in South New Berlin, 12 to 5 p.m.
December 29: Norwich VFW Post 2782, 61 East Main Street in Norwich, 1 to 6 p.m.
January 7: American Legion Post 376, 17 South Washington Street in Oxford, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
January 17: Golden Artist Colors, Inc., 188 Bell Road in New Berlin, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
January 20: Broad Street Methodist Church, 74 North Broad Street in Norwich, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.
January 25: Sherburne Fire Department, 15 West State Street in Sherburne, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
January 27: Berean Bible Church, 109 County Road 2 in Greene, 1 to 6 p.m.
January 31: Chenango Memorial Hospital, 178 North Broad Street in Norwich, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.