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Bismarck blood bank seeking donations

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 8:28 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Since the pandemic began, there have been shortages of just about everything. But there’s at least one product no one can live without that has life-saving potential.

A, B, O, positive, negative. All blood types are valuable. And in the past two years, there has been a nationwide decrease in donors.

Now, those in charge of blood donations are making a push to see if they can get numbers up to where they were before the pandemic.

Empty chairs have become a common sight at Vitalant Blood Donation in Bismarck, where over the past two years, they’ve seen a 12% decrease in first-time donors.

”As people age out of donating, or they have different illnesses that, if they’re a current donor, and now they can’t donate for some reason, the new ones that are coming in aren’t replacing the ones that will be not donating anymore,” said Jennifer Bredahl, regional director for Vitalant.

Those who have continued to donate through the pandemic find it rewarding.

”It’s relatively painless, it helps a lot of people, and it’s only an hour of your time,” said Thomas Stadick, a donor from Mandan.

The blood type in the shortest supply is O negative, that’s the type that can be universally administered.

”So, all blood donations would be accepted and needed, but especially O negative blood donors are what we need right now,” said Amanda Sagsveen, director of laboratory operations for Sanford Health in Bismarck.

Vitalant is hoping to encourage people to donate in Bismarck because staffing issues have limited their mobile operations.

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