State agencies partner with Vitalant to combat blood shortage
Blood donations in New Mexico have plummeted due to COVID-19, with Vitalant cancelling more than 1,600 blood drives during the pandemic
Santa Fe, NM – Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused blood donations to decline by anywhere from 30% to 70% in most developed nations, U.S. hospitals have also seen a significant rise in trauma cases, organ transplants, and other surgeries that require blood products. As a result, the United States is experiencing a severe blood shortage that is limiting access to critical care in hospitals nationwide.
Here in New Mexico, the pandemic has forced Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, to cancel more than 1,600 blood donation events. And while New Mexico’s high school students typically account for 30% of Vitalant’s blood donations, in-school donations have essentially dropped to zero with most students learning remotely.
“It takes over 300 blood donations a day to meet the needs of area patients and to be ready for emergencies,” said Pascen Booth, Senior Manager for Vitalant. “We all expect blood to be there for us if we ever need it, and with this decline in donations we are currently at critical need.”
To combat this shortage, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) and the Department of Health (DOH) have partnered with Vitalant to raise awareness of the critical need for blood donors, highlight donation events across the state, and recruit ambassadors among the state’s health and emergency management professionals to amplify this message in their communities.
August’s Blood Drives
This month alone, Vitalant is hosting more than 40 blood drives across the state (see attached list).
How to Donate
To learn more and schedule an appointment to donate, please visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825) or the local number at 505-246-1457. Residents can also click here to access Vitalant’s donations portal, where you can search for donation events based on your zip code.