Blood Drive To Boost Waning Supplies

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Arizona's blood supply is dangerously in the red.

That's why United Blood Service's upcoming blood drive is crucial to stay abreast of need, especially going into the Independence Day holiday.

"We need 700 donations per day in the state of Arizona to keep up with the demand," said Daryl Collier of United Blood Services. "Throughout the state we will have 40 percent more car accidents on a holiday weekend."

United Blood Services (UBS) is taking appointments for two Rim country donation sites.

In Payson, UBS will be accepting donations from noon until 6:30 p.m., Monday, June 27 at First Church of the Nazarene at 200 E. Tyler Parkway.

The following day, UBS moves east to the First Baptist Church of Pine on Highway 87 from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Donating blood takes about an hour. After a snack, donors are able to get back to their day.

Blood banks accept all blood types. O negative, the universal, yet uncommon blood type is always needed. O positive, a common blood type, is also used frequently.

In an emergency, when time is of the essence, O negative is used first.

If blood supplies run too scarce, blood must be imported from other United Blood Centers outside Arizona.

"We are in a code red state through the months of July and August," Collier said.

Cora Detweiler, the coordinator of the Payson blood drives, said many older people, including a man in his 90s, continue to give donations.

Detweiler added that she is thankful for their generosity, but sometimes health problems prevent their ongoing support.

"We really are trying to encourage the younger people here in Payson to become involved in donating," said Detweiler. "If they start donating when they are young, they more or less keep it up throughout their life."

Those unable to give blood can still help out in other ways.

"Although I have a wonderful group of volunteers, who are absolutely fantastic, more could always be used and would be appreciated," said Detweiler.

Volunteers are needed to make phone calls and man the registration table. They carry on UBS' public outreach by taking posters around town to inform the community about the blood drives.

Some volunteers bring post-donation refreshments and help with assembly and clean up before and after the drives.

United Blood Service is a nonprofit corporation that provides blood for all Northeastern Arizona hospitals. UBS does not charge the hospitals for their supplies. Collier said UBS breaks even, charging only for testing and delivery of the blood.

UBS is FDA approved.

To schedule a blood donation appointment or to volunteer contact Cora Detweiler at (928) 474-8081 or Catherine Revait at (928) 476-4212.

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