UNM Hospital
UNM Hospital

UNM Hospital’s monthly blood drive, usually an internal event supported by United Blood Services (UBS), UNM Hospital and UNM Health Sciences Center employees, is open to the public this Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Barbara & Bill Richardson Pavilion lobby.

In addition to donating blood, UBS is strongly urging area residents to donate platelets and red blood cells to help boost a critically low supply. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, current system platelet  inventories are 50 percent below normal – only about a half-day’s worth – a situation that’s being felt across the country, reports UBS.

Platelets help control bleeding and are used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy, surgery or transplant. Their shelf life is very short – only five days – while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days.

Platelet donations take about two hours. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Fast Track Health History at www.unitedbloodservices.org. Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health.