Holiday weekends at Austin’s blood bank, We Are Blood, usually see a dip in donations, but officials there are reminding Central Texas residents who want to give blood that two banks are open this Labor Day.
Blood donations at We Are Blood decrease during the summer and on holidays because so many people are on vacation and students are out of school — and not thinking about giving blood, said Nick Canedo, We Are Blood’s donor engagement manager. This year, two of We Are Blood’s locations are open on Labor Day, and Canedo said it’s important that Austinites donate during this time.
“Our donor activity kind of ebbs and flows, and that’s why during the summertime and during holidays … the donor activity decreases,” Canedo said.
To meet the needs of the 40 hospitals and clinics it serves across 10 counties, including Travis, Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Llano, Williamson, Lee and Fayette counties, We Are Blood needs at least 200 blood donations a day, Canedo said. That threshold is met through mobile blood drives and from donors who visit one of We Are Blood’s three locations.
We Are Blood’s banks in Round Rock at 2132 North Mays St., Suite 900, and in North Austin at 4300 North Lamar Blvd., are open on Labor Day at 8 a.m. Its third location at 3100 West Slaughter Lane in South Austin is closed on Labor Day.
Donors can give a pint of blood once every two months, Canedo said, and more donors are always needed to make up for the time in between visits.
Donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days and is usually shipped to a hospital or clinic for transfusions within 24 hours after a sample of it is tested to determine if it’s usable, Canedo said. Each day, the blood banks see roughly 10 to 20 donations from those with the universal O negative blood type, but donations from all blood types are needed, he said.
“Really and truly, if you have any blood type or you don’t know what your blood type is, it’s really useful,” Canedo said.
Donors should give blood on a full stomach and after drinking plenty of fluids, according to We Are Blood. Donors can expect to be at the bank for at least 45 minutes, and depending on the type of donation, the process can last up to two hours. Snacks and noncaffeinated drinks are provided after the donation is complete.
Two to five mobile blood drives are held daily all over the city. Those who want to do a blood drive at their workplace can call We Are Blood at 512-206-1266 or 877-212-1266.
We Are Blood is hosting a drive Sept. 15 to help find a blood match for Camryn Anderson, a 9-year-old with a severe form of aplastic anemia, at the Pflugerville Stadium, 1440 W. Pecan St.
We Are Blood is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, Canedo said.