With blood supplies running low, Vitalant seeks donors for Valley drive

Jun 30, 2023, 1:00 PM

Vitalant, Arizona's largest nonprofit community blood provider, is seeking hundreds of donors for t...

(Vitalant Photo)

(Vitalant Photo)

PHOENIX — Facing a critical shortage, Arizona’s largest nonprofit community blood provider is seeking hundreds of donors to build supplies over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Vitalant is holding the Saving Arizona Blood Drive from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Tempe Center for the Arts.

The provider said Arizona blood use is expected to outpace donations by more than 1,500 pints from July 1 to July 7.

“Right now, blood supply is critically low. We have about a two-day supply of several blood types,” Vitalant spokeswoman Sue Thew told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

About 400 of the 650 Saving Arizona Blood Drive slots remained unfilled, Thew said.

Why is donating blood important?

Vitalant provides blood for every hospital in metro Phoenix.

“If you, a loved one or a friend is injured in an accident over the long holiday week, it’s Vitalant that would be the one supplying those blood transfusion needs for your loved one,” Thew said.

It’s crucial for blood supplies to be on the shelf and ready for use when emergencies happen.

“If you wait until someone you know is in a hospital bed needing a life-saving transfusion, a blood donation that day won’t do them any good. It needs to already be there and already be available,” Thew said.

How can you donate at Saving Arizona Blood Drive?

Vitalant has a landing page with a sign-up link and all the details about Sunday’s event.

“We do recommend appointments to make it easy for people to get in and out quickly,” Thew said. “Donors of all blood types are needed, especially Type O, the universal blood donor that helps patients who have emergencies and traumas.”

Vitalant is offering several enticements, including a voucher for a free Whataburger and a complementary lunchbox-sized cooler for every donor. (The coolers will be mailed out after the event.)

A chance to win an SUV is also up for grabs.

“One lucky Saving Arizona Blood donor on Sunday will be drawn as one of the 10 finalists for a 2023 Volkswagen Taos that’s been donated by the Valley Volkswagen dealers to encourage people to give blood. That’s probably the best odds that someone will ever have for winning a car,” Thew said.

“We’re just trying to do everything we can to let people know how much we appreciate that they come out and donate blood.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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With blood supplies running low, Vitalant seeks donors for Valley drive