United Blood Services asking for donors
PEORIA – Give blood in November to help Arizona patients who are spending their Thanksgiving holiday in the hospital. Patient needs for all blood types in Arizona have increased with the arrival of winter visitors.
This week, less than a half-day supply of O-negative was on United Blood Services shelves. Donors of all types are urged to give blood, especially those with O-negative, the universal blood that can be substituted for all other types in times of shortages. Since blood has a shelf life of 42 days, today’s donors can save lives well beyond the Thanksgiving holiday. To make an appointment, call 1(877) UBS-HERO (1-877-827-4376) or visit www.BloodHero.com and enter your zip code to find a blood drive in your area. On Wednesday, Nov. 23, a blood drive will be held in the Vistancia community from 12-4:45 p.m., at 29701 N Sunrise Point, the Mountain Vista Club House.
There’s no question that blood donors save lives – and sometimes the lives of very young children. On March 8, United Blood Services Donor Recruitment Representative Katrina Eaton gave birth to a healthy baby girl. But on May 31, the situation rapidly changed. Baby PJ got a cold that became pneumonia that quickly progressed into respiratory failure. She was taken to the closest ER and then transported by medical helicopter to a Valley children’s hospital.
Katrina’s job is to inspire people to give blood every day. She has recruited more than 100,000 donors over the past 15 years, but now she knows first-hand how every donor makes the difference of a lifetime for a patient.
“Babies like PJ go through so much before they can even receive a transfusion. It is so important to take one hour to give blood,” emphasized Katrina. “Our family is forever grateful for the three donors who gave the blood our daughter has required.”
Baby PJ was so little that she required a transfusion to replace blood lost through medical testing alone; this transfusion was able to happen thanks to her first blood donor. The second transfusion from her second donor gave Baby PJ enough strength to undergo a procedure to insert a feeding tube since she can’t eat enough by mouth due to her respiratory issues. Blood donor three helped Baby PJ when she required a transfusion during surgery to insert a tracheotomy to help her breathe.
Baby PJ has a long road to recovery. She will require more medical tests, surgeries, and most likely depend upon additional blood transfusions. But her parents, Katrina and Troy, hope she will finally be strong enough to come home soon thanks to modern medical technology, skilled doctors, and the three blood donors who have helped her survive life-threatening circumstances.
United Blood Services has been Arizona’s non-profit community blood provider since 1943 and serves patients in more than 60 Arizona hospitals. The UBS network is one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit blood service organizations, and is a founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the American Association of Blood Banks. For more information on how to Find the Hero in You, visit www.UnitedBloodServicesAZ.org.