Blood center works to prevent summer shortages reported in other areas of the United States
South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) and Valero have teamed up in June to prevent critical blood shortages in South Texas similar to those occurring across the United States.
Blood shortages, which typically worsen during the summer, have become a common problem in many regions of the country. Although it’s only the first week in June, there already are reports of blood rationing in some areas and the combination of summer heat and thuderstorms will only make shortages worse.
To encourage donations, all donors in June will receive a $10 Valero fuel card and a $5 Sonic gift card. To help boost critical supplies, type O and platelet donors will receive a $20 Valero card and the $5 Sonic card.
“Healthcare is San Antonio’s No. 1 industry, and there is no better way for us to lead than by having our community rally to prevent blood shortages,” said Elizabeth Waltman, Chief Operating Officer of STBTC. “We especially appreciate Valero’s continued partnership with STBTC, and this summer, in helping to provide gift cards to thank donors, both in our our seven donor rooms and at mobiles drives across South Texas. We invite other organizations to join in by hosting and supporting blood drives.”
“Blood transfusions are critical in the treatment of many conditions,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, Associate Medical Director at BioBridge Global, the nonprofit parent organization of STBTC.
“Cancer patients, moms and newborns, accident victims and many other patients rely on lifesaving blood transfusions daily,” she said. “Without an adequate blood supply, 4.5 million Americans could die each year.”
Donations decline during the summer primarily because there are no drives scheduled at high schools, which typically provide about 20 percent of the blood supply.
All blood types are needed and STBTC staff will provide donors with information on the best type of donation most needed by area patients and hospitals.
To facilitate the best possible donor experience, donors are urged to schedule an appointment by visiting SouthTexasBlood.org/Valero or calling 210-731-5590. STBTC operates seven donor rooms throughout San Antonio, New Braunfels and Victoria. Donors can visit SouthTexasBlood.org/give-now/locations-hours for directions and hours.
Anyone wishing to donate blood must present identification. Donors under the age of 16 must have a signed parental consent form and weigh at least 120 pounds. Anyone over the age of 17 may donate and must be in general good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. All donors are encouraged to eat well and adequately hydrate before and after donation. Refreshments and snacks are provided to donors. In addition, all donors receive a wellness check. Learn more about blood donation at SouthTexasBlood.org.