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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Local blood bank hosts drive on campus to benefit shooting victims

By Dan Thomas

Bloodworks Northwest will host multiple blood drives on Western’s campus this week in preparation for upcoming aid needs from Las Vegas United Blood Services in treating victims from a recent mass shooting.

In Las Vegas Sunday night, Oct. 1, a gunman opened fire onto an outdoor concert festival from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Fifty-nine people are confirmed dead, 527 were injured and thousands fled the Route 91 Harvest Festival according to the New York Times’s live briefing.

“While our primary mission supports local patients, when catastrophes happen we do whatever we can to help — even when local supplies are as tight as they’ve been in recent weeks,” James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks, said in an official press release.

Bloodworks distributed an email Monday urging donors to help Las Vegas shooting victims by participating in on-campus blood drives from Tuesday, Oct. 2, through Thursday, Oct. 5,  Although United Blood Services in Las Vegas is currently meeting immediate hospital requirements, Bloodworks is anticipating the need for future assistance.

“We know that a large number of patients will need treatment and ongoing care. We expect to be called upon, and stand ready to assist immediately with emergency shipments.” 

James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks

Bloodworks is already undergoing a shortage in operational A positive blood type levels, according to an alert distributed Monday, Oct. 2, afternoon. Regular and first-time donors are encouraged to donate Tuesday and Wednesday in the Viking Union Room 565 and Thursday in Red Square to help Bloodworks build local inventories.

The current highest need is for most-common type O blood, platelets and universal AB plasma, according to a Bloodworks press release. Only collected, tested and shelved blood is usable to assist in the Las Vegas emergency relief.

“Whether the need is local or somewhere else, we need to be able to respond instantly — and for that we need stronger inventories all the time,” AuBuchon said.

Donors can also can check online at bloodworksnw.org to find dates and times of mobile drives close to where they live or work.

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