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Blood donations desperately needed

Blood donations desperately needed

Less than a day’s supply of blood on Michigan shelves; blood types O-negative, O-positive most needed

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan is issuing an emergency appeal for blood donations as communities throughout the state face a potential crisis with blood supplies dropping to critically low levels.

“Versiti Blood Center of Michigan is urgently seeking help from the public. We need to do all we can to ensure that Michigan hospitals have the blood they need for their patients,” said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical director at Versiti. “As more people are getting vaccinated and getting out of their homes, attention has shifted away from blood donation. On top of that, drives at schools and businesses, which are typically Versiti’s largest source of blood donations this time of year, have been cancelled. All of this is creating a crisis situation—a shortage of much-needed blood.”

In Michigan, the state’s blood supply has dropped to a critically low level, with less than a day’s supply of life-saving blood on shelves to supply Versiti’s more than 80 hospital partners throughout the state. Ideally, Versiti strives for a three-day supply of blood available to its partner hospitals.

In the first quarter alone, compared to a typical year, Versiti Blood Centers is down more than 40 percent in donations—or nearly 20,000 units of blood—from schools and businesses.

Blood donors are needed now to help ensure life-saving blood is available for Michiganders who need it. One donation of blood, which takes less than one hour, can help save up to three lives.

O-negative and O-positive blood donors are most needed now. O-negative and O-positive blood is the universal blood type, meaning donations can be transfused to all patients, including trauma victims, cancer patients and those undergoing surgery.

Michiganders are needed to extend the generous gift to neighbors who need help and donate blood at a local blood drive or donation center. Cedar Springs United Methodist Church is having a blood drive on Tuesday, April 20, from 12:30 to 7 p.m., and City Impact is having one on April 23 from 1-6 p.m. You can see a complete list of those in our area and schedule it online by going to https://donate.michigan.versiti.org/donor/schedules/zip.

Or you can visit a Versiti Blood Center of Michigan donor center nearest you:

GRAND RAPIDS: 1036 Fuller NE

GRANDVILLE: 3140 Wilson SW

ST. JOSEPH: 2710 Cleveland Ave.

KALAMAZOO AREA: 524 E. Milham Ave., Portage

SAGINAW: 1771 Tittabawasee Rd.

BAY CITY: 1017 N. Johnson St.

MIDLAND: 825 E. Main St.

TRAVERSE CITY: 2575 Aero Park Dr.

To help ensure donor safety, everyone entering Versiti facilities must wear a mask and have their temperature taken. All Versiti donation locations are practicing social distancing and closely adhering to FDA and CDC cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Donating blood takes about an hour with the actual donation taking 10-15 minutes. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to donate blood. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.

Appointments are encouraged at any of Versiti’s Michigan donor centers or at any local community blood drive. Walk-ins are always welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-642-5663 or visit Versiti online at versiti.org/Michigan.

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