Press Release

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan Issues Emergency Appeal for Blood Donations

Grand Rapids, Michigan — January 10, 2023

Less than a day’s supply of blood available, putting patients’ lives at risk

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Versiti Blood Center of Michigan has issued an emergency appeal for blood donation. With less than a day's supply of lifesaving blood on the shelves for Michigan hospitals, patients’ lives are at risk.

Versiti saw a significant decline in donations during the holiday season, and the downward trend continues as the region navigates ongoing winter weather. Unfortunately, the need for blood does not take a holiday, and more patients than ever before require lifesaving blood as part of their treatment.

"As we welcome the new year, we are seeing an uptick in emergency room visits and trauma patients requiring mass blood transfusions, decimating the blood supply,” said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical director at Versiti. “Available blood across the state is dangerously low, and we are asking those who are able to make an appointment to donate today and to encourage a friend or family member to do the same."

How is Blood Used?

  • One in seven patients entering a hospital requires blood products.
  • This ranges from trauma victims to patients battling sickle cell disease, Thalassemia, or those receiving an organ or bone marrow transplant.
  • Cancer patients use 25 percent of all blood donations, and blood transfusions are needed in one out of every 83 newborn deliveries in America today. This rate has increased by more than 50 percent between 2006 and 2015. The list goes on.
  • All of us are likely to know someone who has needed or will need blood.
  • One donation of blood has the potential to save up to three lives.

All blood types are needed, with types O-positive and O-negative most in demand. O-positive is the most common blood type, while O-negative blood is the universal type that can be received safely by all patients in emergencies when the blood type is unknown.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-642-5663 or visit versiti.org. Donor center locations:

  • Grand Rapids - 1036 Fuller NE
  • Grandville - 3140 Wilson SW
  • St. Joseph - 2710 Cleveland Ave.
  • Kalamazoo Area - 524 East Milham Ave.
  • Saginaw - 1771 Tittabawassee Rd.
  • Bay City Donor Center - 1017 North Johnson St.
  • Midland Dow Diamond - 825 East Main St.
  • Traverse City - 2575 Aero Park Dr.
  • Gaylord - 133 W. Main St. Suite 101

Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to donate blood. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.

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ABOUT VERSITI BLOOD CENTER OF MICHIGAN

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan is a non-profit blood center headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. Founded in 1955, it is the primary provider of blood products and services for more than hospitals throughout Michigan and is an established leader in quality and service. Versiti collects more than 114,000 units of blood each year throughout the state at nine permanent donation sites and more than 3,400 community blood drives. For more, visit versiti.org/Michigan.

 
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