Jay Winkenbach: A plea for blood donors

The 3 minute interview: Jay Winkenbach

The chief executive officer of American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services makes an appeal for donors.

At what level are current blood supplies? Right now, we have just a one-day supply of all blood types. Typically, we look to have a three- to five-day supply.

Why are supplies low? Summer is just a difficult time for all blood centers. During the summer months, people are on vacation, everyone has busy lifestyles and we have an absence of high school and college blood drives.

How can people donate? We have blood centers throughout the Bay Area. Call (800) GIVE LIFE or go to www.beadonor.com.

How long does it take? The process takes about an hour and we actually draw for about 10 minutes.

Does it hurt? Most donors say they only feel a pinch while others don’t feel anything.

Is it dangerous? A little less than 1 pint is taken and people typically have 10 to 12 pints of blood in their system. The body replenishes the blood so it’s very safe.

Who can donate? You have to be 17 years or older, be in general good health and meet the eligibility criteria.

Why can’t gay or bisexual men donate?
The Red Cross doesn’t discriminate against anyone, we have to follow the rules of the [Federal Drug Administration].

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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