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More than 1,000 units of blood donated in El Paso and Las Cruces

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Jacqueline Devine, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 7:00 a.m. MT Aug. 6, 2019

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LAS CRUCES – The blood donation center servicing Las Cruces and El Paso reports more than 1,000 units of blood were collected over the weekend in the borderland.

Carol Brugman, spokeswoman for Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, said the immediate need for blood for gunshot victims in El Paso has been met.

Brugman said over 1,009 units of blood (from about 900 people) were donated over the weekend in El Paso at both Vitalant locations and over 146 units of blood (from 130 people) were donated in Las Cruces at Mesilla Valley Mall on Saturday. The blood drive in Las Cruces was canceled Sunday due to overwhelming support and to allow staff to assist the blood drives in El Paso. 

She said she expects the numbers of units of blood collected to keep increasing over the next upcoming weeks. 

“The outpour of support is so much appreciated,” Brugman said. “The blood supply not just in the area but across the country has been critically low this past summer and year. We typically like to keep four days supply of blood on hand. Lately we’ve had a day or less than a day of supply of blood.” 

Brugman said about about 400 units of blood were donated on Saturday alone in El Paso, the day of the shooting that left 22 people dead and more injured. 

“We will need additional units more since we have restocked at the normal level for hospitals now,” Brugman said. “We have to constantly replenish the blood supply because it’s only good for 42 days, and some less than that. So, there is an ongoing need. We encourage people to give blood two or three times a year to keep adequate supply.” 

To donate blood, Brugman said donors can donate at both Vitalant locations in El Paso — 424 S. Mesa Hills Drive and 1338 N. Zaragoza Road. Donors in Las Cruces can donate at the Vitalant location at 1200 Commerce Drive. She said is it important to call ahead of time and make appointment as all locations are fully booked until next week. 

To make an appointment you can visit www.bloodhero.com or call 877-258-4825. The website also lists other blood drives in El Paso and Doña Ana Counties. 

Jacqueline Devine can be reached at 575-541-5476, JDevine@lcsun-news.com or @JackieIsDevine on Twitter.

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