LAKE PARK — On Friday, Nov. 22, Lake Park-Audubon High School’s National Honor Society will be sponsoring a blood drive for Vitalant (formerly United Blood Services).

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the high school theater. To schedule an appointment to give blood, contact NHS advisor Cheryl Hogie at her email, chogie@lpa.k12.mn.us, or by calling the high school office at 218-325-0754. Donors can also come to the high school during the drive.

Last month, 31 volunteer donors stepped forward to take part in an Oct. 10 blood drive at Minnesota State Community & Technical College (M State) in Detroit Lakes. A total of 25 individuals were able to donate blood, while two more volunteers donated Power Red Cells (2RBC), which collects two units of red blood cells while returning platelets, plasma and a saline solution back to the donor. There were four people who volunteered for the first time at the Detroit Lakes drive.

Angie Mohr coordinated the M State drive, while volunteers Jennifer Johnson and Emma Monson assisted on the day of the event, and M State nursing students sponsored the Oct. 10 drive.

Vitalant also held blood drives at two Detroit Lakes businesses on Sept. 27, both of which were coordinated by Alyssa Hagedorn:

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  • A total of 13 individuals volunteered to donate blood and 12 individuals were able to donate at the Vitalant blood drive held at Foltz Trucking, Inc. Three more volunteers made 2RBC donations as well.
  • A total of 11 individuals volunteered to donate blood and eight individuals were able to donate at the Vitalant blood drive held at Pro Resources. Two more volunteers made 2RBC donations as well.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion, according to the American Red Cross. However, less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood or platelets, and only 3 percent do so yearly.

Vitalant is the only blood provider to nearly 70 hospitals across the region. The blood supply is dependent on selfless donations from volunteer donors to ensure the lifesaving needs of the region are met.

Each Vitalant blood donation can help multiple patients such as preemies, surgery patients and cancer patients. Vitalant strives to keep a 5-day supply of every blood type on the shelf at all times to be able to meet the needs of patients across the region. Donations from O-negative donors, the universal blood type, are especially important this time of year due to increased accidents and trauma cases.

About 30 percent of Vitalant’s blood supply goes to cancer patients across the region and one in seven people entering the hospital will need blood.

Donors can make a convenient appointment to give blood at www.bloodhero.com or by calling 877-25-VITAL. With each donation, donors receive a free total cholesterol test and earn points in Vitalant’s donor rewards program. The next blood drive at M State in Detroit Lakes is scheduled for Feb. 19.

Blood donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Health History Questionnaire the day they donate on www.vitalant.org.