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Versiti Blood Center of Michigan in dire need of blood donations

State’s hospitals experiencing spike in need, particularly for O-negative blood

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The need for blood donations continues to escalate throughout Michigan. As the state battles conditions caused by coronavirus, including a decline in blood donations, Versiti Blood Center of Michigan (formerly Michigan Blood) indicates the need for life-saving blood is dire across the state.

The historic flooding last week in the mid-Michigan area also adversely affected the state’s blood supply. Versiti lost hundreds of donation appointments, making the need for blood donations even greater.

“Our blood supply is not meeting hospital demand. That is the situation we face today,” said Versiti Blood Center of Michigan Area Vice President Dawn Kaiser. “Hospitals are resuming surgeries and trauma cases are increasing as stay-at-home orders are relaxed. We must be able to provide blood. Lives depend on it.”

Versiti urgently asks generous Michigan residents to donate blood of all types–especially O-negative blood, the universal blood type used in trauma situations–to ensure hospitals have the blood they need to treat cancer patients, trauma victims and those undergoing surgeries.

To ensure ongoing donor safety, Versiti requires all employees and donors to wear cloth face coverings. Donors are asked to bring their own face mask or covering if they have one. Social distancing is being practiced at all donation centers and community blood drives. The temperature of all donors is taken prior to their appointment; employees are also monitored. Versiti has also implemented increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures at all centers and local community donation sites.

Donating blood takes about an hour. 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 give. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.

Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-642-5663 or visit Versiti online at http://www.versiti.org/Michigan.

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Kent County Credit Union
Ray Winnie


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