Great need for convalescent plasma, blood donations during holiday season

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — During this time of year, there is a great need for blood. When you take your usual number of holiday travel incidents and accidents and add COVID-19 to the mix, it won’t take long to run out of needed supplies.

“Heading into the holiday season, all types of blood donations decline by about 25% during the holiday season, so we are in need of all blood donation types right now,” explained Brittany McLemore, Vitalant communications manager.

The biggest need right now is for convalescent plasma from people who are 100% recovered from COVID to help other patients. Blood type O negative is also another big need.

When it comes to donating, there are three things that will help: blood, blood platelets and blood plasma. When you donate blood, you are likely doing a whole blood donation. It takes about an hour and is most often used to help trauma and surgery patients.

Platelets are tiny cells in your blood that form clots. When you donate these, a special machine collects them and returns your red blood cells and most of your plasma back to you. These are vital for cancer treatments and organ transplants.

When you donate plasma, you are helping stop bleeding in emergency and trauma situations. It’s collected through an automated process that separates plasma from other blood components, then returns your blood cells and platelets.

All three types of donations are especially needed this time of year.

For locations where you can donate, click here.

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