Red Cross Schedules Blood Drive April 5-6; Appointment Openings Available St. Thomas Newsroom March 31, 2011 Appointment openings are available to donate blood at the Red Cross Blood Drive in early April.Schedule an available spot from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, April 5 and 6, in Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center. Sign up online: Log in and enter St. Thomas ZIP code 55105. (If needed, the sponsor code is 3518.)To give blood for transfusion to another person, you must be healthy, at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last eight weeks (56 days). “Healthy” means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, “healthy” also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.If you’re not sure you will be able to give (i.e., out-of-country travel), call 1 (800) GIVE LIFE or check the eligibility requirements to get answers to specific questions. Eligibility requirements also may vary for some states and blood centers. Final eligibility is determined by medical professionals at the time of donation.Before donating:Get a good night’s sleep.Have a good breakfast or lunch.Drink extra water and fluids to replace the volume you will donate. (Avoid tea, coffee or other beverages with caffeine.)Eat iron-rich foods – red meat, fish, poultry or liver, beans, iron-fortified cereals, raisins and prunes.Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fatty materials – lipids – that appear in blood for several hours after eating fatty foods. When this occurs and required testing cannot be performed, the blood may need to be discarded.For more information email the Wellness Center.