LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) --
Donating blood can make the difference between life and death.
On Wednesday, people were at the La Crosse Center answering an urgent call.
Most people can donate blood, but BloodCenter of Wisconsin said only 3 to 5% of people nationwide actually roll up their sleeves.
“Our donations throughout the state in all of our locations have been down so we’ve actually been behind the 8 ball with our collections,” said BloodCenter of Wisconsin Western Region Operations Manager Lorraine Spencer.
Spencer said the need is greater, because people were gone over Labor Day weekend, fewer donors have come in and there’s an increase in usage.
She said usage could be up for a number of reasons including an increase in trauma cases, cardiac surgeries and aneurysms.
“Our inventory at the BloodCenter itself is less than a half day supply,” said Spencer.
All blood types are needed, especially O-, because that’s the universal blood type.
The process of donating blood takes about 45 minutes, with the actual blood draw taking about 10 to 15 minutes.
Donors said it’s rewarding to know they’re helping save lives.
“It doesn’t take that much time or it doesn’t hurt that much so why not do it,” said Sue Lassig.
“It helps the community, it helps hospitals, it’s good. It’s something everybody should do,” said Matthew Koel.
The blood drive continues Thursday at the La Crosse Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Donors must weight at least 110 pounds and be at least 16 years old, with parental consent.