Decrease in blood donations during holiday season

â??Tis the season of giving, but not only just presents; the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center in Ottumwa is asking you to give the present of a blood donation this holiday season.

Donor Relations manager Lorna Miller said from Thanksgiving until after the New Year is when the blood center sees a decline in blood donations.

She said donating is very simple and safe process and on average only takes 45 minutes to an hour.

â??When people see us calling or we have blood drive coordinators that are calling for us and they say â??Iâ??m just feeling a little bit handled.â?? Well we're asking you to make that appointment, commit to that appointment and keep it and make a donation because blood does not take a holiday. There are patients in the hospital 365 days out of the year and they're in need of that blood product,â?? said Miller.

You can save up to three lives from one blood donation.

Miller added that in Ottumwa, 19% of the blood centerâ??s products go to cancer patients.