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Patients don’t take holiday break, blood donors needed

| July 7, 2022 1:00 AM

As record numbers of people make plans to get away for Independence Day, nonprofit blood services provider Vitalant is urging all eligible blood donors to make an appointment in the coming weeks to help relieve a critical blood shortage, reminding the public that patient needs for both routine and emergency blood transfusions don’t take a holiday or summer break.

According to AAA estimates, a record 42 million people will travel for the July 4 holiday weekend, and that translates into fewer blood donors who are available to give.

All blood types and platelets are critically needed, especially type O blood, the most transfused and the most versatile when there’s no time to test a patient’s blood type. Donors don’t need to know their blood type to help. In fact, new donors can learn their preliminary blood type during their first visit, and all Vitalant donors can see their lab-confirmed blood type in their secure and confidential online account within two weeks of donating.

“As a blood recipient, I understand what it’s like as a patient to rely on the availability of blood,” Victoria Wolfe, communications manager, said. “Blood donors provide what only another human can give, a precious, priceless gift allowing those in need opportunities to experience the most important moments of life.”

A blood drive in Bonners Ferry is scheduled for July 12 at the Church of Christ Latter-Day Saints located at 6568 Alderson Lane Also, a blood drive will be held July 15 in Sandpoint at the Assembly of God, 423 N Lincoln Ave.

As a special thank you to those who are helping ensure blood is on the shelf to help patients in need, we have special appreciation items available:

Those who donate with Vitalant July 1-9 will receive an exclusive Vitalant “flippin’ awesome donor” grilling apron* (while supplies last) and be automatically entered to win one of three, $3,000 prepaid gift cards.

Those who donate July 10 - 20 will receive a $5 gift card redeemable at a wide variety of businesses and be automatically entered into the $3,000 prepaid gift card drawing for three lucky winners.

Gift cards will have to be redeemed electronically.

All who are eligible to donate are urged to make an appointment to give over the next days and weeks. Regular blood donation will help prevent future blood shortages. Visit vitalant.org, download and use the Vitalant app, or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825) for the most updated information about specific blood donation opportunities.

Donors who meet all eligibility requirements can be as young as 16 with parental consent, and there is no upper age limit. Masks are optional for staff, donors and visitors except where required by local regulations or blood drive host. There is no waiting period to donate after receiving a COVID vaccine or booster.

Visit vitalant.org to schedule your appointment. Enter the zip code or Blood Drive code in the search box or schedule at the Vitalant donation center Coeur D’Alene.

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