Blood donations needed after dwindling supply over holiday weekend

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Sioux Falls, S.D. (KSFY)- At the bloodmobile outside of the Sioux Falls City Hall, a steady stream of people are saving lives.

Mike Gray works closeby and received a text alert. He's been donating blood since he was in high school. At that time it was more to get out of class. "We'd go into the bloodmobile, donate, get some cookies, get a pop but its a good system because they've created a life long donor," said Gray. He knows every time he donates, he's making a difference, one pint at a time.

The need is always present, and due to the recent holiday, donations are needed more than ever, according to Ken Versteeg, executive director of the Community Blood Bank. "Blood supply is needed every single day of the week, so when we stop collecting blood for four days, the need completely elevates because we don't have that base, that solid base any longer, so as soon as we came off the fourth of July holiday, we are in need of blood right now," said Versteeg.

If you're thinking taking medication would exclude you from being able to donate, Versteeg says you may still be able to. "If the medication brings their levels within a normal range, whether that they're taking a blood pressure medicine, or diabetes medication, those are all fine to donate with," said Versteeg.

Even on medication, you could impact lives. "When a person comes and gives blood, they can save up to three people's lives."

When you donate, the time from registration to walking out the door is about thirty to forty minutes.