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Health

Summertime Activities and Fourth of July Holiday Impact Blood Supply

Lafayette, LA (June 27, 2019) – As we approach the July 4th holiday and what will be a long weekend for many across the U.S., Vitalant (Vye-TAL-ant) is bracing for a shortfall of nearly 8,500 blood donations the week of July 1. In an effort to bolster local and national blood supplies and be prepared for unexpected events, Vitalant is calling on the community to come forward and give blood now and throughout the remainder of the summer.

The need for blood does not take a vacation. By rolling up their sleeves, donors can positively impact the lives of patients like Avery.  On December 20, 2016, Avery was born in the car on the way to the hospital.  Due to complications, she lost a significant amount of blood, requiring a transfusion of red cells.  Four hours after she was born, her little fingers and toes were still black from the blood loss.  Her body temperature was kept low to decrease the damage to her organs caused by the lack of blood, resulting in the need for a platelet transfusion. Avery also received plasma transfusions every 12 hours.  On Christmas Day, she was finally removed from the ventilator.

Avery’s mother Jennifer said, “My husband and I were at her side when that happened, and what we heard next was the best sound we had ever heard: our baby crying.  I was able to hold her for the first time the next day.”  Without your donations, Avery’s story would be much different.  “The availability of blood at the time vulnerable patients need it is what makes outcomes like Avery’s very positive ones. For that, I thank you,” Jennifer said.

Donations from O-negative donors, the universal blood type, are especially important this time of year due to increased accidents and trauma cases. The current O-negative blood supply sits at an approximate two-day supply, which is half of the ideal quantity needed to support patient needs. Additionally, platelet donations, which have a shelf-life of only five days, are always in high demand. However, donors of all types are needed.

“In addition to the typical summertime drop in donations, fewer donors are available because of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday,” said Mitzi Breaux, Marketing and Communication Manager for Vitalant. “This holiday week, celebrate by giving blood and doing something good for others—and yourself.”

Schedule a donation today and transform lives tomorrow

 

Vitalant urges both existing and first-time donors of all blood types to visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL to schedule an appointment at our Lafayette donation center or at a mobile blood drive. Walk-ins are welcome at any of our locations.