Frigid temperatures causing blood donor shortage across the country
SPOKANE, Wash. — All across the country, people are experiencing colder than normal temperatures because of the polar vortex. It’s causing thousands of flights to be grounded and businesses to close. Some necessary services people need are not accessible. Blood centers included.
Vitalant shared with KXLY 4 News that several of their sister centers in North Dakota were forced to close Wednesday. With the usual amount of blood donors down due to things like the winter flu already, this is causing shortages in blood supply all over the country. Here at home included.
In order to maintain their supply to help local donation recipients at 35 nearby hospitals, Vitalant needs 200 donations a day. Blood donations collected in late December and early January were down 47% in comparison to earlier December. It’s making it tough to not only meet local needs, but help our neighbors who came to our aid during emergencies we’ve had in the past.
Vitalant is asking anyone who is eligible to donate, to do so. To be eligible, you need to be over 16 years of age and in good health. To make a donation you can click here, or call 877-258-4825 to make an appointment. Budget about an hour to be at the center you choose. The donation takes about 10 minutes, but there are questionnaires and a quick check to make sure you are healthy to donate to factor in.
If you are unable to donate blood for health reasons, why not ask friends or family to do so in your name?
That’s what Vitalant employee Jodeana Haines did. Jodeana has been helping collect other peoples blood for about 16 years. She too would donate and didn’t think much of it, until the ability to do so was taken away from her.
Jodeana was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer. While she was lucky enough to not need transfusions as she battled, she saw how many others relied on it to survive. 30% of cancer patients need blood transfusions.
She decided to start asking friends and family on social media to donate for her and was overwhelmed with the results, winning the employee award for most donations at her employee blood drive. A year later she was able to start donating again.
“I just remember this feeling, of walking to this blood drive and thinking, “I’m going to get to donate, for the first time in over a year!” Getting to donate. I just remember thinking what a privilege it was that I got to be on this side of the needle, GIVING my blood,” explained Haines.
Vitalant says you can also donate in memory of a loved one.
Each donation can save up to 3 lives.
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