Every two seconds, someone is in need of blood. Every day in the U.S. patients in surgical centers, hospitals, and emergency treatment facilities need around 5,000 units of platelets, 29,000 units of red blood cells, and 6,500 units of plasma. While most of the population in the U.S. is eligible to donate blood, only around 3% do so. During winter, more blood donations are needed for people in places with extreme weather conditions.
“Our blood drives can’t solve all of these issues,” said Kavya Suresh, one of the organizers of the blood drive. “But they are definitely a start! It’s a great way to give back to the community with a resource many of us don’t know we have a lot of.”
On Friday December 2nd, the non-profit organization Vitalant came to San Marcos to prepare for the blood drive happening that day. Vitalant is the nation’s largest nonprofit that exclusively focuses on providing blood services with the potential to save lives. Their mission is to “Unite blood and biologics donors, talent, and innovation to save and improve lives.”
Vitalant has roughly 60,000 blood drives each year, and has 120 donation centers across 28 different states. Anyone who is 16 or older was able to sign up to donate blood to the company. This year, San Marcos was able to donate around 45 pints of blood, which is an increase from the 43 pints donated in the fall of last year. For each person who donates blood, up to three lives can be saved.
For people who are not able to donate, you can still find ways to support local blood drives. You can help the cause by giving them financial donations, being an advocate for blood donations, and even hosting a blood drive. There are also other benefits besides helping your community that come with donating blood. If you are able to donate blood, it can be a sign that you have a healthy lifestyle, and it also helps your circulatory system.
For those who missed the fall blood drive, there will be another opportunity in the spring, and again in the fall of next year!