SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., June 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Vitalant (vye-TAL-ent), formerly known as Blood Systems, is a partnering blood center on Facebook's blood donation feature launched today. More than 30,000 blood donations are needed every day in the U.S. to help transform the lives of patients affected by trauma, elective and emergency surgeries, cancer and blood disorders. The tool is designed to help raise awareness and blood donation opportunities every day, as well as in times of need, whether due to tragedy or seasonal declines in donation. This feature allows any registered user to respond to the call for blood donations and become part of the solution to the nation's escalating blood shortages.
Vitalant is excited to partner with Facebook on bringing this feature to the U.S. after enormous success in donor engagement in Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Pakistan. This feature is a creative solution to energize a movement around blood donations and help individuals contribute to the health of their neighbors and communities when the need is highest.
"Facebook's commitment to working with nonprofits through their Social Good efforts to combat increasing blood scarcities is admirable," stated Mitzy Edgecomb, vice president of marketing and communications at Vitalant. "We are proud to align with an iconic technology brand dedicated to bringing people together to elevate awareness of the need and amplify the call for donors who can transform lives."
The timely release of Facebook's donation tool coincides with a blood drive held at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. June 11 demonstrating the transformational impact of blood donation for both the donor and the patient. With more than 125 donation centers and more than 30,000 blood drives held annually across the nation, Vitalant provides easy and convenient ways for potential donors to save lives.
This week also commemorates World Blood Donor Day, created June 14, 2005 and celebrated annually to heighten awareness of the ongoing and critical need for blood across the globe.
"We strive to help people better support their communities and collectively improve public health," said Hema Budaraju, product director, health at Facebook. "We're proud to partner with Vitalant and other blood centers to help raise awareness and prevent seasonal shortages."
Facebook users in Vitalant service areas including Chicago and San Francisco are among the first to access the new blood donation feature beginning today. Everyone is encouraged to register as a blood donor by navigating to "Blood Donations" in the "About" section of their Facebook profile to learn about and take action on blood donation opportunities in their area. The feature will be rolled out in other communities in the coming months.
Vitalant—one of the nation's oldest and largest non-profit community blood service providers—supplies comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states. Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. It operates a world-renowned transfusion medicine research institute, owns a biological products distribution service and co-owns a high-volume donor testing laboratory joint venture.