SAN ANGELO, Texas – After two mass shootings, that have claimed the lives of over 30 victims in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio – well over 200 people in the Concho Valley have stepped up to donate blood components, but there is still a need for more.
“Those folks in El Paso on Saturday morning, woke up with the intention of going shopping. Maybe having lunch and then going home to spend time with their families…but in an instant their lives were changed, in an instant they were injured and in an instant they needed blood,” explained Linda Grace, who is the Donor Recruitment Supervisor at Vitalant in San Angelo.
Even though the summer was seeing a shortage of blood supply. Vitalant was able to send 367 units on Saturday, to aid shooting victims in El Paso and that blood came from the entire nation – including San Angelo.
“We are a part of a nationwide networking blood center. We are able to quickly move blood and its products to wherever it might be needed. So, that’s why it’s so important that people come every single day to donate blood and throughout the year. You can do that every 56 days,” stated Grace.
Blood takes some time to be processed because it has to go through testing. Also, red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days, plasma 1 year and platelets 5 days. This is why, constant donations are vital to the mission.
“We can’t manufacture it, we can’t google it, we can’t do anything like that. It only comes from you, the volunteer blood donor,” claimed Grace.
This week, there has been a dramatic increase of blood donations in the Concho Valley.
“We were in Brownwood on Tuesday, and we saw twice as many people that we normally see, come out and donate blood. Also, about 20 % of everyone that donated was a first-time donor. That’s really important. It would be wonderful to continue to see this volume and number of people donating on a regular basis because shortages would be a thing of the past, if that would happen,” elaborated Grace.
Right now the status of the blood supply in our community is in replenishing mode, that means there is still a need.
“There are needs every single day. People with cancer, surgery, heart surgery, leukemia patients. These folks need blood every single day on a regular basis and you can make a difference and donate blood,” expressed Grace.