Blood drives planned to help with ‘critical shortage’

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    Vitalant, the nonprofit that provides blood to area hospitals, has announced that there is a “critical shortage” of blood.
    To help meet the need, a pair of local blood drives are planned, including one today.
    “We strive to maintain a 4-day supply of blood just to provide what patients need, and currently we’re at less than half that for certain blood types,” said Dr. Ralph Vassallo, chief medical officer at Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services. “Blood on the shelf helps patients every day — for traumas, cancer treatments and critical transfusions — and enables us to be ready if disaster strikes.”
    Today’s blood drive is from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at CrossRoad Christian Fellowship Church, and another is set to be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 22 in the board room at Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC).
    To make an appointment for today’s blood drive, call (877) 258-4825 or visit www.bloodhero.com.
    To schedule an appointment for the drive at PSMC, email Diane Levison at diane.levison@PSMedicalCenter.com or call 507-3826.
    You can also log on to www.bloodhero.com and enter sponsor code “pagosamedical.”
    Walk-ins are also welcome at the PSMC blood drive.
    PSMC urges those who are giving blood to eat a good meal, drink plenty of water and bring an ID.
    Vitalant’s website notes that 10 percent of the eligible population donates blood, while someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.
    For more information, visit vitalant.org.