On Thursday, January 27, 2022, the Mesquite Recreation Center in conjunction with Vitalant, the nation’s largest independent, nonprofit blood services provider, exclusively focused on providing lifesaving blood and comprehensive transfusion medicine services. The Blood Drive was to from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The turnout was good, but as several workers at the drive stated, “there always could be more.”
On the 11th of January, the American Red Cross announced a national blood crisis, the worst they have seen in over a decade. This announcement was the first-ever declaration of a blood shortage crisis. The American Red Cross reported since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, they have seen a 10% decline in people donating blood. With the American Red Cross supplying 40% of the blood needed to save lives in the United States, the organization has had to limit the supply amount sent to hospitals. The amount at times has only been 25% of the requested amount by the hospitals.
“While some types of medical care can wait, others can’t,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the Red Cross. “Hospitals are still seeing accident victims, cancer patients, those with blood disorders like sickle cell disease, and individuals who are seriously ill who all need blood transfusions to live even as Omicron cases surge across the country. We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors. We need the help of the American people.”
Vitalant comprises a network of about 120 donation centers across the U.S., it is an internationally known and respected leader that continues to push the boundaries to advance the experience, practice, and application of transfusion medicine and needs 5,5000 donations daily just to meet patient’s needs. Vitalant started over 60 years ago as the lead the nation and world in research concerning “blood safety and efficacy with particular expertise in epidemiology, public health policy, molecular biology, immunology, virology, cell processing, and cell therapy.” There are three Vitalant locations nearby in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
During the pandemic, products like toilet paper, baby wipes, and butter at times have been impossible to come by during the pandemic. People even went so far as to steal and sell on the black market. While these items were common topics locally and nationally there was another that was even more important that never made the news…. Blood. Every 2 seconds someone in the US needs blood and every pint donated will save up to three human lives. Having no synthetic alternative blood can only be obtained through donations.
When donor Mrs. S. Case was asked why she was donating she replied, “Felt like I needed to.”
Donations like these go on to become lifesaving medicinal supplies that end up in local hospitals like local hospital, Mesa View. If you missed your chance to donate this time another blood drive will be held at the Mesquite Recreation Center on March 31st. The Recreation Center is located at 100 W Old Mill Road.
The Mesquite Library will be hosting a regularly scheduled blood drive every month starting February 7th, March 7th, April 11th, May 2nd, June 6th, July 25th, August 8th, September 12th, October 10th, November 7th, December 12th. The library can be found at 121 W 1st N Street.
Sun City will be having a donation on June 10th, at 1350 Flat Top Mesa Drive, the Pioneer Center within the Veterans Room. You can help save a life and end the critical blood shortage by donating at an upcoming blood drive. You can even help by hosting a blood drive. Vitalant is also located at 6930 West Charleston Blvd or 4950 West Craig Road in Las Vegas. The Henderson location can be found at 601 Whitney Ranch Drive, Building D, Suite 20.
Due to current state and Governor’s mandate, masks are required for all donors and staff.