It's a slow day at the blood bank. United Blood Services Director Gary Haman says, it's a seasonal thing. "They just don't come in as often, so our donations do go down a bit."
A hard time to get donors in the door. Kids are out of school, people go on vacation and their schedules go out the window. But demand for blood doesn't follow the same seasonal pattern. If anything, more outdoors activity means more accidents. Gary told us, "We have a need. People do get in accidents and they need blood."
What's all too true is, even with all of today's medical advancements, there's still no replacement for human blood. The sad fact is, 1 in every 3 Americans will need it at some point in their lifetime...a statistic that hits home the next time you need it.
People like David Hochhalter know this all too well. Reclining and donating blood at United Blood Services, he told us, "I lost 6 pints of blood." He fell 18 feet and was threatened with internal bleeding. He doesn't know the donor who saved his life with 6 pints. Why was he donating today? "I owe the system back, that's why I'm here. This is my 5th visit, my 5th pint of blood I've given back. I owe the system 1 more pint."
Next to David, also giving blood, we met Alexandra Cleary. She needed blood on the first day of her life. "Somebody donated to save my life when I was born. I needed a full blood transfusion." That she's still here for her family, made the heroism of blood donations all the more real. "Ever since I was 17 able to sign a waiver to have my parents let me, I've been donating since I was 17 years old."
But less than 5% of the population donates blood on a regular basis, and only 38% of the population is eligible to donate. United Blood Services needs 40 daily donations to ensure we have a safe and dependable blood supply...they serve 22 hospitals in northern Nevada and California. 800 red blood cells and 125 single donor platelets per week are needed to meet the demand.
Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Alexandra just happened to be one of them. She told us, "I can't thank the person that donated for me to be here. I never will meet that person but I'm grateful for them but want to thank them." She knows all too well, she might be that person that somebody else will want to thank.
Later this month you can do your part. Wednesday, July 25th is our 5th annual Give 2 Live blood drive. Just by rolling up your sleeves and donating an hour of your time, you can help save 3 lives. It's going all day from 11:00am to 7:00pm inside the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. To make your appointment, just call United Blood Services at 329-6451.
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