During summer, the Vitalant company receives less donor blood than at any other time of the year. This year, the nonprofit organization discovered that 60% of Hispanic residents had a rare blood type O. This type of blood is universal and can save many lives, which is why the organization is appealing to the community to donate blood.
According to Vitalant employees, the summer is the holiday season when the donations are next to none. There is one American every two seconds who needs blood, and one in seven patients who enter the hospital needs a blood transfusion. Any type of blood is welcome, but according to the medical institutions, the type O is in high demand since it can replace any other blood type.
According to the transfusion organization, the blood is segmented in red cells, plasma, and platelets. Thus, one blood donation can save three lives. Red cells have oxygen and can save someone who has leukemia. Platelets help in coagulation. They are mostly used in organ transplantations. Plasma contains nutrients which are beneficial for the people who have high-risk burns.
Blood donations are accepted within the facilities of the company in Scottsdale, where blood is processed and tested. According to Natalie Bejarano from Vitalant, the majority of the Hispanic population has type O, which is often deficient in the hospitals.
The procedure of donating blood is easy. Donors have to be over 16, and with a parent permission if they are minors. To attract more voluntary donors, the company has competition, and the prize is Volkswagen Passat donated for the cause by the vehicle manufacturer.