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Vegas Blood Supplies Improve, But Donations Still Needed

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Officials with United Blood Services in Southern Nevada still need your help with blood donations.

The blood supply has experience a slight lift nationwide, but donations are always needed to keep supplies at adequate levels. Officials with United Blood Services said they wanted to thank everyone for their support following the July 10 nationwide call for blood donors to reverse a deficit of 5,700 blood donations in July after the Independence Day holiday. Blood centers experienced a moderate lift, bringing blood supplies to slightly more stable levels. United Blood Services, a Blood Systems blood center, strives to keep a 3-day supply of every blood type on the shelf at all times to be able to meet the needs of patients at the more than 60 hospitals they serve.

They currently have a 2-day supply of both O-negative and O-positive blood, which is actually up from a 1-day supply at the beginning of the month. United Blood Services is continuing their efforts to rebuild all blood types in the Southwest, especially leading up to and through the Labor Day holiday week. Since blood has a shelf life of 42 days, donations given today can save lives through September 11.

“In any situation where blood transfusions are needed, it’s the blood already on the shelf that saves lives,” said Tom Choi, President of United Blood Services Southwest Division. “We thank the donors who heeded our call by making donations over the last two weeks. New and repeat donors are constantly needed to hep ensure patient needs are met in our community and across the country. In about an hour you can save up to three lives,” said Choi.

Between July 11 and 23, Blood Systems blood centers reduced the 5,7000 donation shortfall by 2,478 donations, yet more donations are needed to close the gap. Additionally, they system welcomed 6,845 first-time blood donors during the same time period, an increase of 15 percent over the same time the previous month. As reported, additional shortfalls are forecast throughout the summer including severe declines projected immediately before and after the Labor Day holiday leaving the blood supply at risk of returning to dangerously low levels.

Officials at United Blood Services said you can help them by being prepared for unexpected events by urging blood donors of all types to visit http://www.BloodHero.com or call 1-877-UBS-HERO to schedule an appointment at a donor center or mobile blood drive. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended for quicker service. People 18 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donated blood.

United Blood Services has been the community blood provider since 1943 and serves patients in more than 60 hospitals in the southwest. Blood Systems is one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, currently serving more than 1,000 hospital and healthcare partners across 28 states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need.

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