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Rugby blood drives bring in donors, units of blood

By Staff | Apr 3, 2020

Sue Sitter/PCT A Vitalant worker helps a donor Monday at a blood drive held at Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Rugby.

Two blood drives in the Rugby community brought in over 80 units of blood and multiple new donors for the month of March.

A blood drive was held Monday at Calvary Evangelical Free Church. According to Vitalant Donor Recruiter Teresa Johnson, the hope was to get 29 units from the drive and Vitalant collected 37.

“That’s a pretty amazing number,” Johnson said.

The drive also brought in 11 people who donated for the first time.

Another drive was held at the church earlier in March. That drive brought in two new donors and 43 units of blood.

“Rugby is an amazing community to work with,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, anywhere from 2 to 3 percent of North Dakota’s population donates blood, and a lot of that number has to do with how rural the state is.

“That’s why the mobile blood drives we do are so very important,” Johnson said.

Upcoming drives in the Rugby area include one scheduled for May 8 at Main Street Boutique in Rugby.

Persons interested in scheduling an appointment to donate blood can visit vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825.

COVID-19 affects donations

March has been a rough month for blood collections.

According to a press release, Vitalant lost 25 percent of the blood collections it had anticipated in March.

Vitalant has had over 1,400 blood drives canceled through the end of June, which translates to approximately 41,000 units worth of blood not collected, according to the release.

Johnson said the need for blood is always present, including for trauma patients, patients undergoing cancer treatment and for infants born prematurely.

Johnson said the “number one concern” has been to keep both staff and donors healthy. In addition to temperature checks for staff and donors, new information has been posted for donors regarding COVID-19. All solid surfaces, including chairs, are disinfected between donors, and all chairs are positioned to encourage social distancing. Johnson also said snacks for donors are being limited to prepackaged snacks brought in by Vitalant.

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