More than 600 blood donors are needed this weekend at Vitalant’s Saving Arizona Blood drive.  While Christmas through New Year’s Day is the lowest week of the year for blood donations, Arizona patients require more transfusions in January than during any other month. To meet increased patient needs, Arizona’s largest blood drive has been extended to two days with east side and west side locations:  Saturday, Jan. 2, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Gila River Arena and Sunday, Jan. 3, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Appointments are recommended for social distancing: visit www.Vitalant.org/SaveAZ or call 1-877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

In appreciation for donating at the Saving Arizona blood drive, all donors will be thanked with a voucher for a Streets of New York 10” cheese pizza and a voucher for a buy one/get one Arizona Coyotes 2021-22 game ticket, courtesy of the event sponsors. While all blood types are desired, Vitalant has an urgent need for donors with Type-O, the universal blood that can be substituted for other types in emergencies.  Donors who have recovered from COVID-19 for at least 28 days are encouraged to consider giving convalescent plasma to provide lifesaving antibodies for the most gravely ill of COVID-19 patients.

Saving Arizona blood donors will help Arizona Kids like 5-year-old Adelyn who received her 76th blood transfusion on Dec. 15.  She was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare disorder that prevents her body from producing red blood cells.  Every three to four weeks, she relies on the generosity of blood donors to keep her alive – a need that is expected to continue the rest of her life.  “Adelyn has taught us the importance of donating blood,” says her mother Kami.  “We are forever thankful to each and every blood donor.” 

All blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies . . . An authorized Food and Drug Administration test, it indicates if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms.  The antibody test is NOT a way to find out if you are currently infected with this virus.  While a positive antibody test does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma and help people who are still recovering from coronavirus infection.  Blood donors can log onto their Vitalant confidential donor portal to access test results within three weeks after their donation.  For more information, visit vitalant.org/antibodytest.  

During the winter holiday season, blood donations are at their lowest level of the year.  “While the holidays reduce the number of people giving blood, heavy traffic on the roads and highways increases the potential for accidents and the need for blood,” emphasized Sid Lewis, Sr. Director of Donor Recruitment for Vitalant’s Southwest Division. While donors of all blood types are needed, Type O blood is in greatest demand because it can be substituted for other blood types in emergencies or when shortages arise.  While O-negative is the universal blood type than can be given to 100 percent of patients, O-positive can be substituted for all positive blood types, which makes up 85% of the population.

About Vitalant

Vitalant (“Vye-TAL-ent”) is the nation’s largest independent nonprofit blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for more than 900 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 28 states. Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. Every day, almost 5,000 blood donations are needed to meet the needs of people throughout the country, and Vitalant’s 800,000 donors supply 1.8 million donations a year. In addition to blood products, Vitalant offers customers transfusion services, medical consulting, quality guidance, ongoing education, research and more. For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Join the conversation about impacting the lives of others on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.