Blood drive to help keep supply up for holidays - East Valley Tribune: Health

Blood drive to help keep supply up for holidays

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Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012 5:55 am | Updated: 7:19 pm, Sun Nov 11, 2012.

Arizona United Blood Services needs about 300 people to donate blood, with a particular need for donors with O-negative blood types, on Nov. 10 as Thanksgiving gets closer and people get busier. “Once people get into their holiday activities many things take precedence over donating blood for many people,” said Sue Thew, United Blood Services spokeswoman.

To aid United Blood Services in its preparation efforts, the Phoenix Symphony is hosting the Saving Arizona blood drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 10 at Phoenix Symphony Hall. Every donor who shows up will receive a voucher for two tickets to one of 34 upcoming concerts.

United Blood Services hosts 12 daily blood drives around the Valley and usually receives about 700 blood donors, providing them with the blood they need to distribute to 58 hospitals. However, when the holidays come around, people find it difficult to incorporate donating blood into their daily routines, Thew said. Most people have a four-day weekend for Thanksgiving and don’t donate blood during that time, she said.

“You end up with multiple days in a row where there are limited blood donations,” Thew said.

The Phoenix Symphony event is meant to encourage a large amount of donations early enough to prepare for the drop in donations during the holidays, Thew said. Blood only has a shelf life of 42 days, and with more people driving during the holidays, there is an increasing potential for accidents. So it is the worst time to worry about running out, she said.

“It’s imperative we go into the holiday with a very strong blood supply,” Thew said.

The blood bank is most in need of type O-negative blood because it can be used in all patients regardless of their blood types, she said. Having enough O-negative blood is crucial during trauma and emergency situations. The supply of O-negative is currently at about half the amount that the blood bank strives to have on hand, she said.

“Arizona patients are counting on you and me to make sure they have an ample supply of lifesaving blood transfusions over the holiday season,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton in a press release for the Phoenix Symphony blood drive. “The life you save could be a family member, a friend or a neighbor who is spending their Thanksgiving in the hospital.”

Starting Nov. 18, the Phoenix Symphony will offer a voucher to donors at any United Blood Services location during the holiday season. However, the vouchers will only be for one concert admittance and the concert choices are more limited than those associated with the Nov. 10 event. It is important that people understand that the blood bank needs early blood donations because although they may intend to donate blood later in the month, the holidays tend to get in the way of those plans, Thew said.

To make an appointment to donate blood on Nov. 10 at the Phoenix Symphony Hall, call 1-877-UBS-HERO or schedule an appointment online at www.bloodhero.com, using the code saveaz. If you are unable to make an appointment, donations will be accepted on a walk-in basis. However, appointments allow the blood bank to ensure a speedy, pleasant experience for donors, Thew said. If you are unable to attend the Saving Arizona blood drive, donations can be made daily at 12 locations around the Valley. To find your nearest location, visit www.bloodhero.com.



Saving ArizonaBlood Drive

When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10

Where: Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix

Information: http://www.unitedbloodservices.org/ubs-az/saveaz/

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