Blood donors needed

Health

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does the blood shortage across the country.

As people everywhere take steps to keep themselves safe from the coronavirus, the country is experiencing a severe blood shortage.

In an effort to help, Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is hosting an emergency pop-up blood drive.

“The traumas aren’t going away, the regular illnesses that we have throughout the year aren’t going away so that’s why we need the community to pull together and donate like they normally do,” Miller said.

Dr. Denis Miller says hosting a drive is simple, and encourages other businesses to do the same if they’re able.

“I know there’s a need for blood. Those kind of crisis situations don’t quit just because we’re in this other situation with the virus,” Dave Yost said.

It’s been 25 years since Yost donated blood, but after hearing about the current shortage he says he wanted to help.

“I’m scared of needles, I hate the sight of my own blood but you know what? This has been a really good experience, the people are wonderful, I’m still vertical and you know I’ve been able to help some people,” Yost said.

“We need 550 units of blood per week. So without these pop-up events, and people coming to the pop-up events and donating blood in the donor rooms, we can’t provide for our community,” Ken Versteeg said.

Versteeg with the Community Blood Bank says with schools and many businesses closed across KELOLAND, getting donations hasn’t been easy.

“We’ve had 31 canceled blood drive events which equates to about 1500 units of blood.

And with multiple cancellations over the last few weeks, donating blood right now is more important than ever.

Fortunately, Versteeg says the community has pulled together and many of the cancellations are being replaced with other businesses, and he’s hopeful that will continue.

“So we’re, you know still yet scrambling. But so far everything is going extremely well for us so we’re grateful for the community coming out and making such a huge impact,” Versteeg said.

If you’re interested in donating blood, another pop-up drive will take place tomorrow at Tre’ Ministries.

For more information, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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