The American Red Cross will hold its 31st annual Donor Days event in Paducah today and Thursday at the Cherry Civic Center in what a Red Cross representative said is the largest blood drive in the area.
Anthony Tinin, a donor recruitment representative with Red Cross Blood Services, said this year's blood drive - running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days - has a goal of 800 to 900 donors. Tinin said a large turnout at the event helps prevent shortages that sometimes occur during the summer when donations lag.
"We're expecting a large turnout, but we can't save lives without these blood donors showing up," Tinin said Tuesday. "We need a lot of people to turn out to make sure the patients in the hospital have what they need."
He said the Red Cross needs donors of all blood types to participate in the drive, but especially type O.
"Its really important for people with type O blood to donate blood. Type O's the universal donor so all patients can receive that type of blood," Tinin explained.
In addition to the opportunity to save lives, the Red Cross is providing a few other incentives for people to participate in Donor Days. Tinin said each donor can look forward to a Red Cross T-shirt and a certificate for a free car wash at Expressway Car Wash in Paducah. Pizza Inn is also providing pizza for donors each day beginning at 11 a.m.
For more information about Red Cross blood drives and donating blood, visit http://redcrossblood.org.
Contact Leanne Fuller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.