ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic needs new donors to roll up their sleeves. The clinic sees a spike in blood demand during the summer, especially after busy weekends like the Fourth of July holiday.
Due to more people being out and about and traveling during the summer, more car accidents happen this time of year or other situations where someone may find themselves in need of a blood transfusion.
On top of the increased demand for blood, Mayo Clinic is also feeling the effects of a national blood shortage. The Blood Donor Program's inventory is extremely low. The clinic strives to fill 70% of its needs through its donors and relies on the American Red Cross for the remaining 30%. Because the Red Cross is also struggling to collect blood, Mayo is trying to be more self-sufficient.
That's why the hospital needs new eligible donors to roll up their sleeves. Many of Mayo's loyal donors are seniors. The Blood Donor Program is especially targeting young people. People as young as 16 can give with parent or guardian permission.
Blood donor marketing and recruitment coordinator Kim Schmidt encourages you to pay it forward because you never know when you or a loved one will need a blood product. "Individuals really don't realize what they can do and that this is a volunteer service. It truly is. I call it the pay it forward game. If you can donate, please do," she explains.
Blood is critical for much of the life-saving work Mayo does. Mayo Clinic says it has never had to cancel a surgery, but if it doesn't have the blood supply it needs, canceling or rescheduling procedures isn't out of the question.
Mayo was unable to have blood drives during the pandemic, but those are expected to return soon. Appointments at the Hilton and St Marys donor centers are preferred, but they will accept walk-ins.