Blood drive by Red Cross & Jackson County Rotary amidst blood shortage

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Red Cross and the Jackson County Rotary Club held a blood drive in Medford.

Red Cross Area Account Manager for Southern Oregon, Samuel ‘Ace’ Ventura said that there is a national shortage of blood donors,

“Every sixty seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, that’s not just a made-up number, it’s not just something we’re kind of just throwing out there, its a real thing.”

In Southern Oregon, Ventura says that’s partially due to extreme weather conditions, they’ve had to shut down a lot of their blood drives. Which is why the Red Cross is urging the community to find a blood drive near them and donate.

Ventura said,

“It’s a really quick process, we do a mini physical just to make sure you’re healthy and feeling well before you donate. We do take a safe amount of blood; you should feel absolutely normal after you donate.”

The lead phlebotomist and collection tech at the drive, Wendell Stoller says that you can help up to three people per donation. Stoller also said it’s important that they have donations because blood doesn’t last forever, and it can save someone’s life or even give someone more time to say goodbye, like it did for his mom.

“Just thinking about my mom and the fact that because someone selflessly gave blood, I got to spend two more months with her, so thank you.”

While it might be scary it’s an easy and quick process.

Stoller said,

“We really need people to come out and donate, especially first-time donors that have never done it before, come and donate, so we can show you how easy it is to be able to save lives.”

Aside from the small pinch you feel initially, you just keep your arm straight, squeeze a little ball in your hand they give you to help blood flow and just relax. Donor, Brian Watkins said he donates because you never know when you or someone you know might need blood.

“When my family members or other people in the community need to go in and get blood you want to make sure it’s there so, you’ve got to come out and it doesn’t get there by itself, we have to give it.”

There will be another blood drive Wednesday (2/7/2024) at Rogue Community College in Medford from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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