Regional Blood Supply is Plummeting, Vitalant Urges People to Donate

"When you donate, you are saving a life."

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The Red River Valley is experiencing a critical blood and platelet shortage.

Vitalant is urging all eligible donors to make an appointment as soon as possible.

“We have got a skyrocket of usage and we don’t have enough donors. We typically know how blood donations need to be used throughout the year, but with this pandemic, it has really thrown us off,” Vitalant Regional Director Jennifer Bredahl said.

Bredahl says you never know when someone you know might need blood.

“You never know when it could be you or your family member. We have had some situations where people want to donate for their family and it doesn’t work that way. It takes too long to get that blood processed and tested so what we need is to make sure that supply is there not matter what for anybody that comes in,” Bredahl explained.

Every day, Vitalant needs to collect about 5,300 blood, platelet and plasma donations to help save lives. With a blood supply shortage, this could mean that a patient might not receive the care they need.

“It is life or death. When you think about this, if the doctor says the patient needs 10 units and we only have nine, they needed 10,” Bredahl said.

When you donate through Vitalant, you are making a difference in your local community; blood donations are distributed to local patients first.

“We need to make sure our community is safe. Vitalant is the only blood supplier of all of our hospitals in this area. We supply over 80 different hospitals. If you are donating anywhere else, a lot of times it is not going directly to local patients and it is not being transfused here locally. When you are giving with us, it is going to be taking care of our local patients first,” Bredahl said.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.

Categories: Health, Local News