South Texas Blood & Tissue Center urges donors to give ahead of flu season
The seasonal flu season is rapidly approaching, and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is encouraging all healthy donors to give blood or platelets now, since donations can be accepted only from those who are feeling well.
STBTC is encouraging the community to help maintain an adequate blood supply during flu season as it has the potential to cause a decline in blood donations, since anyone who is sick on the day of donation will be deferred from giving blood. The need for donations is vital as blood donations traditionally decline by 20 percent during the holiday season as high schools and colleges are on winter break and fewer companies schedule blood drives.
Every year millions of people in the United States get the flu, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and tens of thousands die, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The flu virus is detected year-round in this country, but the number of cases tends to rise beginning in the fall and peaks between December and February.
To encourage donations and to help donors with online shopping this holiday season, all donors in November will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. Because supplies are critically low, Type O and platelet donors who give at any STBTC donor room will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.
Blood donors must present identification. Anyone who is 16 years old and weighs at least 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or 17 years old and above and weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health may donate blood. All donors receive refreshments, a wellness check and are encouraged to eat well before and after donation. Learn more about blood donation at SouthTexasBlood.org.
In addition to donors, STBTC also is looking for organizations that would like to sponsor blood drives. They can contact the center at 210-731-5590.