The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

American Red Cross visits Memorial Building


May 10, 2018

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

BRUCE GREENHILL looks down at the one pint of his blood is drained out of his arm Wednesday in the Ironwood Memorial Building. Greenhill said he has been giving blood over 40 years.


Ironwood - The American Red Cross spent Wednesday in the Ironwood Memorial Building collecting blood and giving out drinks and cookies. As a visitor, the process of donating blood is nearly seamless. Arrive, fill out some paperwork, answer some questions, get in the proverbial donation line, get stabbed in the arm, wait while one pint of one's blood is drained away, eat some cookies and drink something and leave.

For most people giving blood is a pretty quick assembly line system that is never perfected and always changing, but close enough to expert to move folks rapidly in and out. Betsy Slabaugh, the Kiwanis Club blood drive coordinator the last ten years, puts in time days before the Red Cross arrives lining up donors and securing time slots for people to make the process as smooth as possible.

Another way the Red Cross is trying to make giving blood easier for donors, is through the use of RapidPass. RapidPass allows donors to begin the questionnaire process before arrival through an online pre-donation and health history questionnaire available on the day of the donors appointment. It is expected donors can save 15 minutes by filling out the survey online before arriving at the donation center.

Slabaugh said the questions are always changing that might disqualify a donor from giving. For example, with the Zika outbreak in South America, visiting additional areas, affected by Zika outbreaks, will result in a person not being allowed to donate.

Bruce Greenhill, operations manager of the Historic Ironwood Theatre, said he has been giving blood for over 40 years. Greenhill said he used to give in Australia before emigrating to the United States and the process was similar.


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