Focus on Your Health: Where and how to donate blood: Baystate to host monthly blood drives in Greenfield

Anita Fritz

Anita Fritz

Donating blood can take as little as 45 minutes.

Donating blood can take as little as 45 minutes. PEXELS/FRANK MERIÑO


For the Recorder

Published: 01-19-2024 11:36 AM

January is National Blood Donor Month, and beginning Jan. 17, the Baystate Blood Donor Program at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield will be hosting monthly blood drives. Throughout the year, Baystate Franklin invites and encourages people to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life by donating blood.

The past few years have been tough, but donors have shown such commitment and generosity, helping thousands of community members throughout the Pioneer Valley. Donors have also been great in encouraging others to donate lifesaving blood.

Donating is simple and fast — the process takes as little as 45 minutes, but makes such a difference to someone in need. Blood is essential for surgeries, cancer treatments, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries.

A gift of whole blood is usually divided into red cells and plasma, so that one gift can help more than one individual. Premature infants, surgical patients, accident victims, and people with leukemia and other diseases often require blood transfusions.

At Baystate Franklin, the blood drives this year will be held each month from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Old Endoscopy Suite on the first floor. The dates are:

Jan. 18; Feb. 15; March 22; April 19; May 24; June 21; July 19; Aug. 23; Sept. 20; Oct. 18; Nov. 15; Dec. 20

Baystate Health knows that when you are thinking about donating blood, you might have questions, so here are several of the most common answered:

■Should I eat before donating? Yes, it is recommended that you eat a meal or snack within four hours before donating.

■How often can you donate blood? Every 56 days and up to five times each year. Platelet donors, who take part in a special process called apheresis, can donate as frequently as every 48 hours, or up to 24 times a year.

■What are the requirements for donating blood? Blood donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. There is no maximum age limit.

■Do I need to know my blood type? No. We will know your blood type about four weeks after your first donation and will share it with you in person during your next donation.

■How much blood do you donate at a time? You will give about one pint of blood during a single donation. An average adult has about 10 pints of blood in their body.

■Does the blood stay within my local community? When you donate blood to Baystate Health, your gift remains in our local communities.

■How do I know if my blood is safe for patient use? Your blood is tested to make sure the blood or platelets are safe for patient use. You will be notified of any abnormal findings.

Eligible donors also receive a $10 gift card from one of the following: Dunkin’, Starbucks Coffee, Amazon, Big Y, Panera Bread, or Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Call today to make your appointment. The number is 413-794-4600 (Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to noon) — you just need to say that you’d like to donate blood at Baystate Franklin. You can also visit to schedule an appointment.

Anita Fritz is a lifelong resident of Franklin County. She was a reporter for the Greenfield Recorder for 20 years. She is currently the senior specialist for public affairs and community relations for Baystate Franklin Medical Center.