Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program talks about ongoing need for blood

People can donate blood at the donation center in the Hilton Building. It is open 6am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, and is open late until 7pm on the second Thursday of every month.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 7:31 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - If it seems there is always a call for people to roll up their sleeves and donate blood, that's because there is. 

Doctor Justin Kreuter with Mayo Clinic said on average, they need about 100 donors a day to keep a minimum, safe amount of blood inventory for patients. 

He explained blood is always needed for a couple of reasons, one being the shelf-life of the donations. He said donations are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, whole blood donations can last around 42 days, but platelet donations only last 5 days. 

He also said sometimes an immediate shortage of blood will come up because of trauma incidents or hospitalized patients using more blood than anticipated. 

"Especially when you talk about things in trauma, in the matter of 5 to 10 minutes can make a huge difference in if a patient is going to survive and have the rest of their life ahead of them, or they're going to die, a lot of that comes down to having that blood available," Dr. Kreuter said. 

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program is also thanking Rochester community members who stepped up and responded to an urgent plea for donations last week. 

Despite the success of the recent Battle of the Badges blood donation campaign, because of trauma incidents and patients needing more blood than expected, an immediate, urgent need for blood came up. The donor program posted a plea on social media and about 55 walk-in donors came to help. About 10 of those walk-in donors were first-time donors. 

Dr. Kreuter told KIMT his reaction to overwhelming response from the community. 

"You might actually make me tear up because it's just profound," Dr. Kreuter said. "We've got world experts in trauma care, we've got fantastic ambulance crews and emergency responders, and here at the clinic we have all the fancy gadgets and gizmos for providing medical care, but if they don't have blood to give the patient, it's all for not."

The donor program is in the middle of its latest donation campaign, Pints For Preemies. These donations will go to help prematurely born babies with blood transfusions often needed in their first couple weeks of life. 

People can donate blood at the donation center in the Hilton Building. It is open 6am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, and is open late until 7pm on the second Thursday of every month. 

Because of construction, parking is now available in a lot behind the Hilton Building. 

People can also donate 8am-3pm at St. Mary's Hospital. 

For more information, click here

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