INDIANAPOLIS, April 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Versiti Blood Center of Indiana is issuing an emergency appeal for blood donations as communities throughout the state face a potential crisis with blood supplies dropping to critically low levels.
"Versiti Blood Center of Indiana is urgently seeking help from the public. We need to do all we can to ensure that Indiana hospitals have the blood they need for their patients," said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical director at Versiti. "As more people are getting vaccinated and getting out of their homes, attention has shifted away from blood donation. On top of that, drives at schools and businesses, which are typically Versiti's largest source of blood donations this time of year, have been cancelled. All of this is creating a crisis situation – a shortage of much-needed blood."
In Indiana, the state's blood supply has dropped to a critically low level, with less than a day's supply of life-saving blood on shelves to supply Versiti's more than 90 hospital partners throughout the state. Ideally, Versiti strives for a three-day supply of blood available to its partner hospitals.
In the first quarter alone, compared to a typical year, Versiti Blood Centers is down more than 40 percent in donations – or nearly 20,000 units of blood – from schools and businesses.
Blood donors are needed now to help ensure life-saving blood is available for Hoosiers who need it. One donation of blood, which takes less than one hour, can help save up to three lives.
O-negative and O-positive blood donors are most needed now. O-negative and O-positive blood is the universal blood type, meaning donations can be transfused to all patients, including trauma victims, cancer patients and those undergoing surgery.
Hoosiers are needed to extend the generous gift of life to neighbors who need help and donate blood at a Versiti Blood Center of Indiana donor center nearest them:
INDIANAPOLIS: 3450 N. Meridian St.
FISHERS: 11005 Allisonville Road
CARMEL: 726 Adams St., Suite 150
GREENWOOD: 8739 U.S. 31 South
TERRE HAUTE: 2021 S. Third St.
LAFAYETTE: 2200 Elmwood Ave., Suite D-16
Indiana residents can also make an appointment to donate at a local community blood drive in their area. Times, dates and locations of upcoming local drives can be found online https://donate.indiana.versiti.org. Interested donors should click the "Schedule to Donate" tab to find the nearest drive to them.
To help ensure donor safety, everyone entering Versiti facilities must wear a mask and have their temperature taken. All Versiti donation locations are practicing social distancing and closely adhering to FDA and CDC cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to donate blood. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.
Appointments are encouraged at any of Versiti's six Indiana donor centers or at any local community blood drive. Walk-ins are always welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-317-916-5150 or visit Versiti online at versiti.org/Indiana.
About Versiti Blood Center of Indiana More than 90,000 Indiana residents each year give blood through Versiti Blood Center of Indiana, formerly Indiana Blood Center, a non-profit organization founded in 1952 that operates blood donation centers in Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Greenwood, Lafayette and Terre Haute. The center also operates thousands of mobile and community blood drives each year throughout the state. Versiti provides a continuous and safe supply of blood and biological services to more than 90 Indiana hospitals and their patients and beyond.