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Wendi Winters Memorial Blood Drive going on this weekend

Posted at 7:16 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 19:16:12-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Right now there's a national blood shortage.

The American Red Cross is reporting a ten percent decrease in the amount of people donating blood.

There are also issues due to the pandemic, like blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations.

But tomorrow you have a chance to donate blood in memory of one of the five journalists killed at the Capital Gazette Newspaper in Annapolis.

Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith, John McNamara and Rob Hiassen were killed in June 2018.

Winters spent a lot of time in the community giving back through regular blood drives and Don Harrison has a preview of tomorrow's event.

On Saturday, the 8th Wendi Winters Memorial Blood Drive will take place at the Crown Plaza Hotel by the Annapolis Mall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Blood is always needed at hospitals, but with the difficulties of the pandemic, fewer people have been giving blood. The amount of blood being donated has decreased at the same time the need for blood has increased.

"Now you have all the normal people coming back for procedures they have been waiting for for two years before they can do them, along with all the people that are being impacted by COVID directly who are also going to hospitals that are requiring blood," said Rebecca Callahan with the American Red Cross.

Locally, the Red Cross must collect around 340 pints of blood daily, to keep up with patient demand at over 50 hospitals. Since the pandemic has all of us on edge and concerned for our health, they assure us giving blood is a safe procedure.

"We always take precautions. The people who are providing the services they are always masked and always have gloves and they are always basically taking all the precautions necessary," Callahan said.

It just takes about 20 minutes to give blood and save a life. Something new now for the American Red Cross, they will let you know how your donation has helped.

"If you provide the information to reach back to you they will let you know where it went. They will actually tell you when it got used, what kind of patient and what hospital it was, they have all that information," Callahan said.