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"Critical" blood shortage continues in Las Vegas hospitals and medical facilities

blood donation
Posted at 8:40 PM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 23:40:23-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — At a blood drive at the Rampart Hotel, workers diligently siphoned every drop of the red gold they could too fill a critical blood shortage in Clark County from people like Bill Farmer.

"I've given blood since before my 16th birthday," he said.

Farmer knew his blood would likely end up going to someone he's never met and would never meet, but he said the donation was worth it as his mother used to run dives much like the one hosted by Vitalant Saturday.

"It's one of those things where you give back to the community," he said. "It's something that's easy. It doesn't take a whole lot of time. It doesn't cost you anything but an hour."

It's also critically important during a national shortage according to Brittany Estrella, Vitalant communications manager, who said area hospitals have been working with a less than two day supply of type O blood.

Estrella said, like with virtually anything else, the pandemic has lead to many blood drives being canceled contributing to the shortages.

"All blood types are critically needed right now because of the national blood shortage," she said. "Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion in a hospital."

Farmer said he'll keep giving blood every few months like he's done for decades, and he called on others to, if not match his pace, at least consider giving once.

"It's just something I've done my entire adult life," he said.

Estrella said Vitalant would be back at the Rampart hotel Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to collect blood, and people could register on their website to donate blood at any of their three regular locations across the valley.