Houchin seeks blood donors

Demand expected to increase as drives decline

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Houchin seeks blood donorsBetween emergent medical needs and restricted community access, a nationwide scarcity continues to impact the mission to provide blood, platelets and plasma “so that no one fears losing their life over a shortage.”

Yessica Diaz-Conti of Houchin Community Blood Bank said that local residents will have an opportunity to contribute Wednesday, May 20, when the mobile clinic will be at the Kerr McGee Center from noon to 6 p.m.

Historically, Houchin has helped meet county needs through community blood drives. However, with public events canceled and schools closed, many of the regular drives have been canceled.

With the economy slowly opening back up, and hospitals once again starting to schedule and perform elective procedures, the need for units is increasing even as the supply remains diminished.

The percentage of our national population that donates regularly is low, said Diaz-Conti. “But we get a phenomenal response from Ridgecrest,” she said. The monthly drive averages more than 100 donors, yielding more than 1,300 units of blood collected annually from Ridgecrest residents.

Houchin has also responded to COVID-19 risks by enacting measures that ensure the continued safety and availability of a local blood supply by enforcing social distancing, spacing and sanitation protocols.

“We strongly encourage healthy, eligible individuals to continue donating blood to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in need that rely on the generosity of donors every day,” said Diaz-Conti.

“As our hospitals ramp up their elective surgeries, donations will need to increase as we enter the summer months.

Pictured: A donor at last month’s drive, shown with a Houchin staffmember. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-05-15