Chester County Blood Drive: The American Red Cross is holding a community blood drive at Chester County Hospital

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) – The American Red Cross is encouraging the community to donate blood as the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the worst blood shortage in a decade.

On Tuesday, doctors from the association organized a blood drive at Chester County Hospital, where donations could potentially help hundreds of people.

“There’s a need for it,” said Linda Rice, a patient care technician at the hospital.

“If you don’t mind the little pinch in your arm, it just gives you a few minutes to relax and close your eyes, and you’re doing a good thing in the meantime,” she said.

As Rice recovered from donating blood with a sugary drink and snacks, she said she was proud of her ability to help her community.

The Red Cross says the donation takes about 45 minutes and can save up to three lives per donation.

“It’s gratifying,” Rice said.

More than 70 donors like her have signed up for the blood drive at Chester County Hospital, an effort that comes at a critical time.

“With COVID it has been difficult. We have lost some sites due to increased COVID restrictions, understaffing and a dwindling donor pool,” said Ashley Campuzano, team supervisor for the American Red Cross.

When Omicron surged in January, the Red Cross declared a national blood crisis, the worst shortage in a decade.

That’s why the nonprofit organization has been pushing for similar events to remind the community of the benefits of donating, like a free checkup with Red Cross doctors and the reward of helping those who need it.

“I feel good about my job every day when I wake up. It’s a great feeling to know that I’m helping people,” Campuzano said.

If you are considering donating blood, 6abc will be hosting the 6abc Philly 2022 Blood Drive on Wednesday, March 30 at the Courtyard by Marriott, Fairmount Ballroom.

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