Blood donations needed as summer trauma increases

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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – This July 4, many will be using fireworks to celebrate the country and show how proud they are to be Americans. Amid all the fun, people sometimes forget that fireworks are dangerous and can cause serious injury.

The holiday weekend approaches as blood banks across the country face critical shortages. Vitality, a nonprofit blood supplier for Lubbock hospitals, is reduced to a 2-3 day supply.

James Dugger, vice president of Vitalant’s southern division, says it’s not uncommon for donations to decline over the summer, but with more and more people taking vacations they missed l last year, the supply was even lower. He says blood is coming out of hospitals faster than it is coming in.

“Whenever travel increases, there is always this risk. The main point to remember is that it’s the blood on the shelf that is going to help someone if something bad were to happen, ”Dugger said.

Dr Christopher Piel, medical director of the UMC emergency center, says the shortage comes exactly when they see the most trauma in the emergency room.

“So we’re a bit ahead of the weekend. So you have time. Go out today, tomorrow. Visit your blood bank and donate. You are going to save someone’s life by doing this, ”said Dr Piel.

Dr Piel says emergencies typically see more burns and hand injuries as fireworks sales increase. Lubbock town EMS medical director Dr Gerad Troutman says it’s time to have fun this weekend with family and friends, but it’s safe to do so. He says alcohol and fireworks don’t mix well and even though we’ve had rain, throwing used fireworks in the garage garbage can still set a house on fire.

“We need to remember every time we shoot fireworks that we need to have good, close adult supervision. We should also wear safety glasses, especially the person giving the lights, because there are things that can happen and we see a lot of eye injuries during this time of year, ”Troutman said.

“You know, I think everyone thinks that it’s not going to happen to me, that these things don’t happen with us. But, take this year alone, we have already had several drownings, ”said Dr Piel.

In case these emergencies arise, Dugger says Vitalant wants a full shelf. He says donating blood is really giving time. If you donate whole blood, the process takes 30 minutes to an hour. If you are a platelet donor, you can expect almost two hours.

“When you think about how much time you give to be able to do it, compared to the generations of time that can be saved with that donation, it really is an easy choice,” Dugger said.

Dugger says type O blood is needed most right now, along with plasma and platelets A, B, and AB.

If you donate until July 6, Vitalant is offering t-shirts that you can redeem on their website.

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