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Critical blood shortage prompts call to action on World Blood Donor Day

Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 12:53 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Monday is World Blood Donor Day and blood banks across the country are asking the public to step up during a vital push for donations.

Vitalant is issuing a nationwide critical blood shortage in response to dwindling supplies for all types of blood.

The company says type O blood - often used for trauma patients when a person’s blood type is unknown - is especially low, with less than two days worth in storage, while all other types have less than a four-day supply.

According to Vitalant Communications Manager Tori Robbins, the pandemic aggravated the issue as organizers were forced to cancel a number of community blood drives over the last year. She says donations fell by more than 4,000 in May and COVID-19 continues to affect donation rates.

Robbins stresses that as tourism picks up, so does the need for blood at a moment’s notice: ”if we don’t have the supply on-hand that we need, there’s really just not another option for those patients, and that’s why Vitalant will use the verbiage of ‘critical’ when it gets to this point because we really are in a situation where, if the blood’s not on the shelves, those patients don’t have another option.”

If you’d like to schedule a donation, you can visit Vitalant’s appointment portal or call 877-25-VITAL.

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