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Virginia Red Cross in critical need of blood donations and volunteers

“As more people get out after being vaccinated, they’re doing the types of activities that can unfortunately lead to car accidents and different kinds of traumas,” McNamara explained.
Virginia Red Cross in critical need of blood donations and volunteers
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:53 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - At the start of the pandemic, the American Red Cross saw a spike in need for blood donations. Now, over a year into the pandemic, Jonathan McNamara with the Virginia Red Cross says the demand is still high, and is rising.

“As more people get out after being vaccinated, they’re doing the types of activities that can unfortunately lead to car accidents and different kinds of traumas,” McNamara explained. “Many people are visiting the doctor maybe for the first time in a while, so we’re seeing elective surgeries increase.”

One of the top priorities of the Red Cross, is to have a diverse blood supply. McNamara says certain people can only accept certain blood donations, based off of blood type, and other health traits. Therefore, the Red Cross encourages everyone to get out and donate.

“It’s your way of extending someone’s life, because that’s really what this is about at the end of the day,” McNamara said. “Whether it’s a trauma patient at Sentara or UVA, a cancer patient, a child who needs that blood to sustain their life, there’s no substitute for human blood.”

He says, over the past year, the Red Cross has dealt hands-on with more billion dollar disasters, than any other year in the organization’s records. Subsequently, the volunteer base at the Red Cross was stretched thin. Workers learning new skills, volunteering more time and much more. McNamara says 90% of the Red Cross work force is made up of volunteers, and right now, the need for them is at an all time high.

To schedule a blood donation appointment, or check out the volunteer opportunities, https://www.redcross.org/

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