‘There’s always a patient in need’: Blood centers see drop in summer donations

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Blood donation centers, like Vitalant, are encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and find a time to donate blood this summer.

According to Vitalant, blood donation centers see about a 20 percent drop in donations during the summer months.

“Kids aren’t in school, so we’re not seeing those high school blood drives. We’re not seeing the college blood drives just because you’re on summer break,” said Brooke Way, a marketing and communications specialist for Vitalant. “Sometimes the business blood drives are less staffed because people are traveling, so we do see a little dip in blood donations during the summer. So that’s why we encourage people to come out during those summer months and help support our deficit during summer.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, according to Vitalant.

“We at Vitalant need blood donations every single day,” Way said. “We try to keep a four-day supply on our hospital shelves at all times, so we need blood donations from everyone every single day.”

Vitalant said donation centers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee were also impacted by flooding from Hurricane Barry, and blood donations from around the country were sent there to replenish the supply.

“If you donate blood at Vitalant, you might be helping someone locally who needs that blood or you might be helping someone nationally,” Way said.

Donating blood is an easy process, according to Vitalant, and one donation can save up to three lives.

“If you are going to donate blood your first time, eat a good meal and drink lots of water and just prepare your body to donate blood,” Way said. “It’s very easy. It only takes about an hour from registration to the snacks afterward.”

People can learn more about donating blood on Vitalant’s website and find a blood drive or donation center near them.