The Walker community hosted a blood drive with Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, Sept. 25 at Calvary Evangelical Church that helped collect a total of 52 units of blood products for patients in need.

A total of 45 individuals volunteered to donate blood and 42 were able to donate at the Vitalant blood drive. A total of nine donors also came forward to donate 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 eight people who volunteered for the first time.

Vitalant expressed their gratitude to Carol and Scott Gustafson, who coordinated the drive.

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. The blood supply is dependent on selfless donations from volunteer donors to ensure the lifesaving needs of the region are met.

About 30 percent of Vitalant’s blood supply goes to cancer patients across the region and one in seven people entering the hospital will need blood. Those relying on blood in the region receive that lifesaving blood from Vitalant.

Donors can make a convenient 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. The next blood drive at this location is planned to be held Jan. 23.

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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