ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix donors needed as blood donation center faces shortages

Aug 23, 2022, 4:15 AM | Updated: 6:13 am

(Photo by Denis Charlet/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Denis Charlet/Getty Images)

(Photo by Denis Charlet/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Vitalant is seeking donors as the center has seen a downturn in available supply over the past few months.

The donation center is down nearly 50% since the beginning of summer, with a shortage in recent days among O positive blood as it has fallen to a one-day supply, according to a press release.

“Hospitals need people to donate during these critical weeks,” Dr. Ralph Vassallo, of Scottsdale-based Vitalant, said.

“Patient blood needs don’t conform to a predictable schedule. Several patients may experience emergencies, while a planned surgery could suddenly require dozens of units of blood for one patient. Hospitals must have blood available to take care of everyone.”

Appointments are needed for all blood types to reach the sufficient four-day supply.

The FDA recently changed eligibility requirements, now allowing travelers who recently visited France, Ireland or the United Kingdom to donate assuming they meet all other criteria; previously, those travelers weren’t eligible due to the risk of mad cow disease.

“We are eager to welcome the tens of thousands of donors who have recently become eligible to give blood due to the FDA’s updated guidance,” Cliff Numark, senior vice president, said.

“We also encourage everyone who at one time may have been told they couldn’t give blood to take another look at current eligibility requirements, as this is just one of several updates over the past few years.”

To view eligibility criteria, visit online or call 877-258-4825.

Donors who stop by Vitalant before Aug. 31 will get a $6 gift card to spend on a gallon of gas and entered to win, one of five prepaid gift cards worth $3,000.

There are seven donor centers in the Valley: Chandler, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale.

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Phoenix donors needed as blood donation center faces shortages