Blood donations needed in New Mexico amid surge of COVID-19 cases | KOB 4

Blood donations needed in New Mexico amid surge of COVID-19 cases

Casey Torres
Updated: October 15, 2020 01:51 PM
Created: October 15, 2020 01:34 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, is in critical need of whole blood, platelets and convalescent plasma donations.

Andrew Sharpless, a representative with Vitalant donor recruitment, said they’ve been in critical need since the pandemic started, but the recent spike in cases is driving up the demand.

To help people with the virus, they need convalescent plasma donors.

“Those are donors who come in who donate their plasma because they have the antibody to be able to help those patients who are the sickest with COVID,” he said.

He said one donation can help up to five COVID-19 patients. Hundreds of people have been donating a month, but Vitalant needs to reach the thousands.

When people donate blood, it’s tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

But another reason for the need of whole blood and platelet donations are the current natural disasters like Hurricane Delta in Louisiana.

"We have sent many units of blood down to the south region to help them as they haven't been able to collect their own products because of the unfortunate situation with the hurricane,” he said.

Sharpless said with more people working from home, not a lot of businesses are participating in their usual blood drives.

To make an appointment to donate or set up a blood drive, call (505) 246-1457.

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