Vitalant declares critical blood shortage on World Blood Donor Day and urges donations
A double-digit drop in the number of new donors is concerning
Non-profit blood service provider Vitalant is alerting the public today – World Blood Donor Day – to help reverse a severe blood shortage by making an appointment to donate in the days and weeks ahead. Donors of all blood groups are needed.
With the number of new donors down sharply by 12% year-over-year, new donors and those who haven’t given in a while are especially needed. Hundreds of appointments over the next few weeks remain vacant in San Angelo and throughout the region. There is a critical need for donors with the most transfused blood type O, which has recently dropped to around half of the desired four-day supply, and for platelet donors, whose donations must be used within a week of the Don.
“Every time you donate, you help ensure that a patient’s lifesaving treatment does not have to be put on hold,” said Vitalant Medical and Scientific Director Dr. Ralph Vassallo. “When patient needs consistently exceed donor appointments, the odds are higher that a leukemia patient will not be able to get their regular transfusion, or that a transplant recipient will have their surgery delayed.”
In April and May, Vitalant collected approximately 13,000 fewer blood donations compared to the previous year. If the AAA Memorial Day travel forecast was any indication, rebounding to 92% of pre-pandemic levels as schools closed for the summer, the number of available donors could drop further in the coming weeks.
“When there’s a high-profile emergency, people drop what they’re doing to donate,” said Cliff Numark Vitalant, senior vice president. “But there are many reasons why patients need transfusions – which don’t make the headlines. Certainly it is the blood already on the shelves that helps patients when tragedy strikes – but an adequate supply must also be ready to meet the individual patient needs that arise every day, the treatment of cancer, the victim of a accident, the transplant patient. Making an appointment to donate tomorrow or next week will help ensure that those needs can be met.
In addition to helping patients, new blood donors can find out their preliminary blood type on their first visit. Other added benefits of donating blood are a mini-physical and comprehensive panel of tests that each donor receives. The physical mini-check of pulse, blood pressure, hemoglobin and cholesterol can be tracked at each visit in the donor’s secure and confidential online account.
Appointments are encouraged. Please visit vitalant.org; download and use the Vitalant app or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825) to reserve your spot and save lives.
About World Blood Donor Day
Established by the World Health Organization, World Blood Donor Day is celebrated annually on June 14.
raise awareness of the need for a safe and readily available blood supply. For 2022, the theme is solidarity, drawing attention to the role donations play in saving lives and building solidarity within communities.
Vitalant (“Vye-TAL-ent”) is the nation’s largest independent, not-for-profit blood service provider, exclusively focused on providing vital blood and comprehensive transfusion medicine services to approximately 900 hospitals and their patients. across the United States. Every day, Vitalant must collect nearly 5,000 blood, platelet and plasma donations to help save lives. For more information and to schedule a donation appointment, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.