A spike in illness spreads across the Tri-State. With so many down and out, several local blood banks are down as well, with fewer pints to hand out when people need help. "Flu season has impacted some of the blood drives, that's for sure," says Evansville Red Cross Donor Resource Supervisor Pat Connor. Being healthy is necessary to give blood, but in the middle of flu season that's easier said than done. "The number one thing that a person has to do, they have to be feeling well in order to donate," says Connor.
Those with the flu who want to give blood but cant, the Red Cross says now is a good time to start asking others to help give back. "If they can just ask somebody to donate. If they cant donate, they should ask somebody to donate for them," says Connor.
Those like eighty six year old Joan Graham, who have remained healthy through this flu season, say it's rewarding to give back while others can not. "It's such a simple thing. It doesn't take long and i'm helping other people. You save three lives when you give a pint of blood. I have saved, after today it was three-hundred thirty-three, so it's three-hundred thirty-six lives i've saved," says Graham."The need is constant. The gratification is instant." This is the Red Cross' motto, but this time of year the phrase means a little more. "The need for blood is constant. We have blood drives all the time because the need is always there. So, if you're feeling well, I suggest please find a place where you can donate blood."
Some may believe donating during flu season could make them more prone to illnesses this time of year, but the Red Cross says this is a common misconception. .