UHC partners with Vitalant to host blood drive this Wednesday; donations needed now more than ever

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 8:45 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - The United Hospital Center is partnering with Vitalant to host a community blood drive this Wednesday, Oct. 6.

It will be held at the Bridge Sports Complex on court 1 from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Anyone is allowed to attend, and masks will be required while donating.The communications manager at Vitalant, Kristen Lane, said this is important for residents to participate in, as one donation can save up to three lives. According to UHC, this is the case because blood is separated into three components: red cells, platelets, and plasma.

- Red cells help pediatric patients, trauma or surgery patients, and people with anemia

- Platelets are needed by those being treated for cancer, people with blood disorders, and patients receiving open-heart surgeries and organ transplants

- Plasma is given to patients in shock, and those with severe burns or clotting disorders

“Any time someone requires blood and needs to go to the hospital, the only way to get that blood is through somebody who donates it. Blood cannot be manufactured it has to come from a human donor,” Lane said.

Since the pandemic, not many people have donated blood compared to previous years, which is why Lane said participation this Wednesday is critical.

“When we were all under a mandatory shelter in place, a lot of people were afraid to come out and donate blood. They did not realize that blood donation is an essential function, we need blood donors, hospitals need blood donors for their patients so we did see a real decline,” she said.

Lan also mentioned that it’s important to never wait for a crisis to happen and then donate, because it could be too late. That’s why they are hoping people not only donate on Wednesday, but regularly after the event.

“When we donate blood on a regular basis, that blood will be at the hospitals for someone who needs that blood in an emergency,” she said. “So we really encourage everyone to develop that healthy generous habit of donating blood on a regular basis you will save lives and you will feel so empowered by that.”

You are asked to make an appointment, but walk-ins will be accepted. Most healthy people are eligible to donate blood. Vitalant encourages donors to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water the day of their appointment. Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can donate, and everyone should bring ID (such as a driver’s license). Masks are required for all donors, regardless of vaccination status.

There is no waiting period to donate after being vaccinated for COVID-19 or the seasonal flu shot. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially type O, the most transfused blood type. O-negative is what emergency room personnel reach for when there is not time to determine a patient’s blood type.

To support safe social distancing, all prospective blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment – either by phone at 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825), or online at donateblood.centralbloodbank.org or vitalant.org by searching with Group Code W4310001.

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