WHITMAN — Chief Timothy Hanlon reports that the Whitman Police Department will host a blood drive later this month through Boston Children’s Hospital. The Whitman donation site is in honor of Walter Merck — affectionately known as Walter the Warrior — a local 1-year-old who is currently battling cancer.
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 9 A.M. to 3 p.m.
Whitman Police Department headquarters, 20 Essex St., Whitman
Anyone at least 17 years old can donate blood, so long as they are in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. In Massachusetts, a 16-year-old may donate blood as well but is required to have a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to donating (click here for the consent form). There is no upper age limit for donating, so long as the individual is feeling healthy and well and meets the other criteria.
January is National Blood Donor Month, and Boston Children’s Hospital is looking for eligible donors to fill a great need.
Some commonly asked questions about blood donations, courtesy Boston Children’s Hospital, include:
Is it safe to give blood?
Donating blood is a safe process. A new sterile needle is used when collecting a donor’s blood and then the needle is discarded. A majority of donors feel fine after donating blood. Some donors may experience lightheadedness, upset stomach or a small bruise or pain where the needle was inserted. Very few donors may experience a loss of consciousness or nerve damage but this is an extremely rare occurrence.
How long does the blood donation process take?
A typical whole blood donation takes approximately 30–45 minutes, with the actually blood draw lasting on average between 8–10 minutes.
Who gets blood after it is donated?
All blood and blood products collected by Boston Children’s Hospital are used to help patients at the hospital. Children’s Hospital also provides blood products to the Jimmy Fund Clinic.
Can I donate if I have received a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, there is no deferral for the COVID-19 vaccine. As long as you are feeling well and have no side effects, you are eligible.
For a full list of commonly asked questions about blood donations, click here.
“We are pleased to assist Boston Children’s Hospital in their effort to meet the demand for blood donations, and encourage anyone who is healthy and eligible to sign up for the clinic in Whitman on Jan. 29,” Chief Hanlon said. “Donating blood is a safe and easy way to make a huge difference in the life of those in need.”