Victoria community urged to help save lives

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is urgently asking the Victoria community to help replenish dangerously low blood inventories by donating blood and scheduling blood drives.

Depleted blood supplies leave communities vulnerable because it is impossible to predict when a crisis will occur. The horrific incidents reported earlier this month in El Paso, Ohio and California were a reminder that it is critical to have blood on the shelves before tragedy strikes.

“We’re asking the Victoria community to help restock our blood supply to ensure local patients and hospitals have the blood resources they need,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, STBTC associate medical director.

Communities often see a 20% decrease in donations during the summer, when high school and colleges are on break and frequent donors are on vacation. However, the need for blood is constant, to meet the ongoing needs of patients scheduled for surgery, those who need blood as part of their regular cancer treatments, newborns and their mothers, and many other patients.

The Victoria donor room at 1109 Sam Houston Drive is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. the rest of the time. Donors also can find mobile blood drives by visiting SouthTexasBlood.org/schedule-appointment or calling 210-731-5590.

During August, STBTC will thank donors with a $10 H-E-B gift card and a free Cinemark movie ticket.

All blood types are needed, especially type O-negative and O-positive, which are used in emergencies. Platelet donations, which have a shelf life of only five days, are needed to help control bleeding in trauma situations or surgeries and help cancer patients undergoing therapy.

Staff will consult with donors to provide information on the type of donation that is most needed by area patients and hospitals. To facilitate the best possible donor experience, donors are urged to schedule an appointment.

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 donor receive a wellness check. Learn more about blood donation at SouthTexasBlood.org.

The information in this article was sent in a press release from the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center.

About the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center:

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is a nonprofit community blood center that provides blood, plasma, platelets and other blood components to dozens of hospitals in 48 South Texas counties. It is the largest blood supplier in our region. STBTC has a proud 45-year history serving the South Texas community. The center operates under the auspices of

BioBridge Global, a nonprofit organization comprising services for regenerative medicine and research including blood banking and resource management; cellular therapy; umbilical cord blood collection and storage; donated human tissue recovery and distribution for transplant; and testing of blood and plasma products to help patients in the United States and worldwide. STBTC has seven donor rooms in South Texas and conducts hundreds of mobile blood drives each year. Visit us at www.SouthTexasBlood.org.

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