Pierre SD State Employees hosted a blood drive with Vitalant (formerly United Blood Services) on Sept 16 at Lutheran Memorial Church. The drive collected 37 units of blood products. Heather Perry who coordinated the drive, and Jeff Hallem who that day.

A total of 41 people volunteered to donate blood, and 33 individuals were able to donate on that day. Five donors gave Power Red Cells (2RBC) which collects two units of red blood cells while returning platelets, plasma and a saline solution back to the donor. There were four people who volunteered for their first time.

Vitalant strives to keep a five-day supply of every blood type on the shelf at all times to be able to meet the needs of patients across the region. Donations from O-negative donors, the universal blood type, are especially important this time of year due to increased accidents and trauma cases.

Vitalant is the only blood provider to nearly 70 hospitals across the region. About 30 percent of Vitalant’s blood supply goes to cancer patients, and one in seven people entering the hospital will need blood.

Donors can make an appointment to give blood at www.bloodhero.com or by calling 877-25-VITAL. With each donation, donors receive a free total cholesterol test and earn points in Vitalant’s donor rewards program.

Blood donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Health History Questionnaire the day they donate on www.vitalant.org.

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