Las Vegas blood drive critical during summer months

Las Vegas blood drive critical during summer months By N M Lorde

Nineteen-year-old Brian donates blood multiple times throughout the year. He started donating in high school and plans to continue to roll up his sleeves for the rest of his life.

“A hero doesn’t do a deed for the glory of it and they just don’t do a good deed once; they continue doing it. That’s how I feel about donating blood,” the teen notes on the United Blood Services Website. The organization lists Brian as one of its ‘heroes’ for donating blood at least three times a year.

This past weekend, the United Blood Services and Clark County Library looked for local heroes in the Las Vegas area by co-sponsoring a summer blood drive. An estimated 40 donors rolled up their sleeves Saturday to donate life-giving blood to the Las Vegas community.

“In the summer time, we rely a lot on our community partners to give our donors other alternatives – somewhere they could go that is closer to home,” says United Blood Services Donor Recruitment Manager Paul Milakeve.

Providing these alternative locations for donors may be critical for blood donations since it is typical for donations to drop during the summer. Milakeve stresses how donated blood is collected and helps those in need in the community.

“The generosity of our donors and our sponsors have significantly impacted the community blood supply where we have been able to continuously provide our hospitals with the required blood needed for patients to use,” says Milakeve.

Repeat donors are rewarded for giving life-saving blood. Along with being listed as one of the organizations ‘heroes’ for donating at least three times, all donors receive points in the Blood Hero rewards program which can be redeemed for prizes on the Blood Services website. For the blood drive at the Clark-County Library, donors were offered an additional 600 rewards points to redeem gifts on the site.

“These gifts include movie tickets, t-shirts (and) gift certificates. And every time they donate, these points accumulate. So the more they donate the more points they receive, which they can redeem for larger gifts,” says Milakeve, who notes that the organization also provides free cholesterol tests with all blood donations.

“(Donors) can get a list of their entire donation history or they could track all of their donations, all of the rewards points that they accumulated. And they can see a nice cool graph of their cholesterol history,” says Milakeve.

For more information on how to become a donor, please visit www.unitedbloodservices.org or call (702) 507-3458 for more information.

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