Versiti Blood Center of Michigan Issues Emergency Appeal for Blood Donations
State’s blood supply at a dangerously low point, putting patients at risk
Versiti Blood Center of Michigan has issued an emergency appeal for blood donations, pleading with community members to make an appointment to donate blood in the coming days. Heading into the fall, Versiti has seen a drastic drop in scheduled appointments, with nearly 3,000 open appointments over the next seven days.
“This is the lowest our blood inventory has been in over a year, which could mean that blood is not available when it’s needed the most,” said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical director at Versiti. “We are seeing fewer first-time donors walking through our doors, which is adding to an already dangerous situation, and we need the community to step up and donate.” Versiti estimates that around 20 percent of its donors are first-time donors; unfortunately, more than 50 percent of those donors only donate once. With an aging donor base and increased need, first-time blood donors are desperately needed.
"Our loyal donors continue to hear our pleas and roll up their sleeves, for which we are extremely grateful," added Dr. Waxman. "However, if every eligible donor could pledge to donate at least twice by the end of the year and encourage a friend or family member to give blood donation a try as well, the impact on the local blood supply would be significant and save lives.”
While Versiti strives for a three-day supply of available blood for local hospitals, the organization currently has less than a one-day supply on the shelves. Not only does this potentially put people's lives at risk, but it limits the ability to respond to the need for blood should the unexpected occur.
What to know about blood donation
- Every two seconds, someone needs lifesaving blood to survive. One donation can save up to three lives.
- The donation process, including registration and testing, takes about an hour. Because your body constantly replaces blood and fluids, blood donation doesn't take a major toll on the human body.
- There is no substitute for blood donation — blood cannot be manufactured. It can only come from volunteer donors.
- Roughly 68 percent of Americans can donate blood, but only about 3 percent do so.
- Blood donation can help patients of all ages who are victims of traumatic accidents, patients of organ transplants, or fighting through diseases like cancer.
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 (866) 642-5663 or visit versiti.org. Walk-in donors are also welcome.
Donor center locations:
- Farmington Hills - 29305 Orchard Lake Rd.
- 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 16 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 85 hospitals throughout Michigan and is an established leader in quality and service. Versiti collects more than 135,000 units of blood each year throughout the state at ten permanent donation sites and more than 3,400 community blood drives. For more, visit versiti.org/Michigan.