LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As we head into Fourth of July weekend, a reminder from local blood banks.
Blood is needed to save lives — from people involved in car crashes to women giving birth.
“It takes about an hour of your day to save a life,” said Brittany Estrella of Vitalant.
If you are able to give, there is a two-day blood drive on Saturday and Sunday at the Rampart Casino at Summerlin Parkway and Rampart Boulevard. The drive will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
“Right now, there is a critical shortage of blood in our community here in Las Vegas, and also nationwide,” Estrella said.
And a critical need for blood donations just gets worse during summer months as donations naturally go down, so there is a huge push for people to make appointments for this weekend and donate to save lives.
“We’re asking anyone of all blood types to donate as there is a severe shortage, specifically of Type O-negative and O-positive,” Estrella said.
Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online to reserve a spot by visiting vitalant.org and enter “RAMPART” as the code.
On average, donors give several thousand fewer donations during the summer compared to the rest of the year, but the need for lifesaving blood transfusions remains steady.
Vitalant must collect about 5,300 donations every day to meet the needs of patients at 900 hospitals coast-to-coast.
Type O blood is below a two-day supply. Type O-negative is what emergency rooms use when there is no time to determine a patient’s blood type.
There is no waiting period to give blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Donors at this drive will receive a Wet’n’Wild voucher for a complimentary admission to the park.
Donors will also receive a free Vitalant t-shirt, redeemable via email.
Vitalant is the nation’s largest independent, nonprofit blood services provider exclusively focused on providing lifesaving blood and comprehensive transfusion medicine services. There are about 120 Vitalant donation centers across the U.S.