Most of us don’t worry about whether there will be blood available if we or a family member needs it. We assume other people will donate blood, but in reality, blood donation is something we all should be thinking about as vital to a good healthcare system. And if we can’t donate blood, we should encourage others to do so.
Ensuring the blood supply is at a healthy level and that the blood donation distribution process is optimized is more complex than most people realize. To begin with, blood is perishable; it has a shelf life of only 42 days. Testing, processing and distributing blood to hospitals across the United States also takes several days.
Due to the voluntary nature of blood donation, seasonal supply shortages of blood in winter, summer and around holidays are common. This is due to schools being closed, people being busier and businesses often preferring not to host drives during these time periods.
But patients who rely on blood donations can’t wait. If you’d like to help ensure a steady supply of blood for patients, join us on May 23 at Marshall Hospital in the South Wing Lobby. Use the QR code to make an appointment, or sign-up at https://donors.vitalant.org/dwp/portal/dwa and use code SMFH130.
Article excerpts credited to: How the Blood Supply Works https://www.vitalant.org/how-the-blood-supply-works-usa