Right now, the blood supply in Montana is critically low. According to Vitalant, we're sitting on just two days of blood reserves.
Vitalant Donor Recruitment Manager Erin Baker says summer and the holidays are always challenging times to get people in the door to donate blood.
Baker says there is a 36% drop in donations during summer months. She explains that's because high school and college students are out of school. And, with more people on the road, the demand goes up.
Baker says, "So, we need platelet donors. The biggest thing with platelets is they do go to regular things: cancer patients can't get their chemotherapy without platelets. People who are undergoing surgeries, just regular surgeries, would need platelets. So, it's very important to keep a good, healthy supply of those. And then, of course, red cells are the most requested blood component from the hospitals, so we always need those. Every type, especially Os."
Pat Evans is a regular platelet donor. He has donated blood or platelets since the 1970s. He tells me he has no idea how much he has donated. He says it doesn't really matter to him as there is always a need.
Evans tells me, "One of the best platelet donations, one of the most memorable, just happened a few weeks ago. They called up and asked if they could change the scheduled donation time because there was a baby in another state, I think Texas. I turned out to be a perfect match. They called up and said, 'Could you come in tomorrow? This is kind of an emergency.' I said, "Certainly, I'll be there."
If you are interested in donating, you can go here for more information. https://www.vitalant.org/vital