RAPID CITY, S.D. — Monday is World Blood Donor Day, and Vitalant put out the call for more donors because of a critical shortage.
Blood donations have dropped here and around the country. In May alone, donations were more than 4,000 short of what’s needed. Vitalant says it usually sees a drop in donations as summer approaches, but this drop-off is faster than usual. The Rapid City staff say it’s a combination of school being out and COVID restrictions lifting.
“We always see blood donation decrease in the summers because a lot of high schools and colleges run blood drives through us throughout the year, and of course they’re not in session at this point in time,” said communications manager, Tori Robbins. “So, there’s always a slight decrease in blood donations in the summer. Now that people aren’t locked down, people are able to go out and do fun things, not just critical health care activities like donating blood. So we’re seeing that a lot of people aren’t coming in to donate, and it’s critically needed right now.”
This is putting a burden on healthcare workers around the country who are struggling to keep up with lifesaving patient care.
Vitalant has encouraged all eligible donors to give blood and save a life.
Type O blood is below a two-day supply, while other blood types have a less than four-day supply. Donors can drop in to make donations, but they are encouraged to make an appointment.