Blood donations have significantly decreased over the past few years due to complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the American Red Cross, the national blood supply reached its lowest point in more than a decade in 2021. And right now, medical facilities such as St. Clair Hospital continue to face limited inventory of some blood products.
Brooke Spinneweber, Blood Bank Supervisor at St. Clair Health, affirms that local hospitals like St. Clair Hospital need a consistent supply of blood donations to ensure all patients get the best possible care. Here’s why:
There Is No Substitute
“There is no man-made substitute. If there are no donors, then there is no blood,” explains Brooke. “And the only way to help people in need of a blood transfusion is to acquire blood from donors.”
One Blood Donation Can Save Multiple Lives
Blood is made up of four main components: red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and white blood cells. All of these components can be utilized to help different patients, which means one blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives.
Blood Has An Expiration Date
Red blood cells can last up to 42 days after donation, but according to Brooke, “Platelets are only good for five days after donation, which makes them expensive and hard to come by.”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. This could be someone who requires emergency surgery, care for a medical condition, and/or treatment from traumatic injuries. So healthy individuals are urged to donate now! Your blood donation has the potential to help patients in our community.
Visit www.vitalant.org/donate to find a blood bank in your area or make an appointment for the community blood drive scheduled from 8 AM to 1 PM on Saturday, April 8, in Dunlap Conference Center at St. Clair Hospital.