Vitalant, the nonprofit blood services provider, is asking people to make an appointment to donate blood in the coming days and weeks to address a critical blood shortage in New Mexico.
All types of blood are needed to reverse the blood supply shortage, which is down by 12% over the previous year. In April and May, Vitalant collected 13,000 fewer blood donations compared to the prior year, the nonprofit said.
In particular, there is a need for Type O, the most transfused blood type, which is at about half of the desired four-day supply. Also needed are platelet donors, whose donations must be used within a week of collection.
“Every time you donate, you help ensure a patient’s lifesaving treatment doesn’t have to be put on hold,” said Vitalant Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Ralph Vassallo. “When patient needs consistently outpace donors scheduling appointments, chances are higher a leukemia patient won’t be able to get their regular transfusion, or a transplant recipient will have their surgery delayed.”
It also affects the supply of blood required for everyday needs, such as people injured in traffic accidents or in acts of violence.
New blood donors can learn their preliminary blood type during their first visit. Blood donors receive a mini-physical and full panel of tests. The mini-physical check of pulse, blood pressure, hemoglobin and cholesterol can be tracked with each visit in the donor’s secure and confidential online account.
To make a blood donation appointment, go to vitalant.org; download and use the Vitalant app; or call 877-258-4825 (877-25-VITAL).