VFW hosts blood drive to help curb summer blood shortage

Brooke Curley Photo/ Gila Valley Central: Marc Terry donates blood while Red Cross nurse Tamika Webster oversees his progress.


THATCHER – During a crisis, who better to aid our country than the veterans of foreign wars?

The American Red Cross visited Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10385 in Thatcher on Monday and held a blood drive. By 2 p.m., 15 people had already donated.

The Red Cross nurses travel from Tucson to the Gila Valley once every two months. After a steady flow of donors in the morning, attendance tapered off when the afternoon heat set in.

Although not widely known, the Red Cross has released an emergency call for blood and platelet donations to compensate for the summer shortage. This call was issued July 6.

External Communications Manager of the Arizona Blood Services Region Tammy Kikuchi Nakamura described the situation in a press release.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” she said.

Blood donations help people who have been in accidents, heart surgery patients and organ transplant patients. Aside from the people with obvious medical needs, some individuals require blood transfusions daily to remain healthy.

“Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks,” Nakamura said. “If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs.”

To see the entire emergency statement given by the Arizona Blood Services Region, click here.

To make an appointment to donate call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).