Extreme heat didnt deter 53 people from donating the gift of life.
The third annual All American Community Blood Drive was held July 20 at Sanford Vermillion Medical Center. The drive was a joint donor program by Sanford Vermillion Center and Community Blood Bank.
Each pint of blood donated that day has the pote
ntial to save three lives, meaning that July 20's drive could possibly have a positive impact on as many as 159 individuals, said Ken Versteeg, executive director, Community Blood Bank. This was the third annual event at the Sanford Hospital and each year it gets better.
A patient needing 180 units of blood over the July 4th weekend placed a heavy burden on the blood supply. Besides, some additional traumas coming to our emergency rooms also challenged the blood supply that put blood usage up by nearly 20 percent, said Versteeg. This drive was crucial to keeping the blood supply at an adequate level.
In addition to this, community drives are extremely important throughout the summer months when attendance is much lower at colleges and schools. During the fall and winter, we have blood donation drives going on at the colleges and schools, said Versteeg.
Sixty-three people attempted to donate blood but only 53 were able to donate. Others were excluded from donating because they were either running a temperature or had travelled out of the country earlier in the year.
Community Blood Bank serves 29 hospitals in South Dakota, southwest Minnesota and northwestern Iowa. It has donor rooms in two Sioux Falls hospitals where people donate blood Monday through Friday. Besides, Community Blood Bank drives also take place at the WalMart and Jones' Food Center.
Joan Reed, a donor from Sanford Vermillion Medical Center, said, I have been donating for several years now and continue to do so because it gives me a sense of pride to know I am helping someone or impacting someone elses life by doing so.
Growing up my dad gave gallons of blood and was always on call with the blood bank because he had one of the rarer types of blood. Dad always told us they didnt want to waste his blood and so they would call him and have him donate only when they were in need of his type. It was not uncommon that he would get a call and a short time later, he would be on the road to deliver, she said. Finding out that I also have one of the rarer types of blood and being told at one point they didnt want me to do a 'double red' because they wanted my blood to send over to Afghanistan further inspired me to keep on giving. I have to admit, the first time giving I was a little nervous, but once I did it and realized how easy the process is, I donate as often as possible now.
Nancy Ellison, laboratory manager, Sanford Vermillion, said, We are always happy to work with the Community Blood Bank to promote blood drives hosted in Vermillion. On average, we use two to four units of blood products each week in Vermillion. Community Blood Bank is the sole supplier of blood products to Sanford Medical Center Vermillion.
Mary C. Merrigan, director of public relations, Sanford Vermillion, said, We want to thank all the community members who came out for the blood drive. We were especially pleased to have such a great turn out on a day of such extreme heat.