Las Vegans wait for hours to donate blood after concert massacre

Kristen Gonzales
October 6, 2017

In the wake of Sunday night's mass shooting, the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center has been in touch with the local Las Vegas blood suppliers through Blood Centers of America, the national network.

"We've almost doubled our daily donations from 30 to 55", said Danna McFadden, the blood bank's supervisor. And show up they did.

Blood products have a limited shelf life - 42 days for red blood cells and just five days for platelets and must therefore be constantly replenished.

Tragedies like Sunday nights do serve as a reminder to donate but the Red Cross tells us they are nearly always in need of blood.

"Unfortunately, in a situation like Las Vegas, we don't know what the response will be until the hospitals start to put in orders to say what's going on for their surgery schedule or what their response was", Coats said.

Local blood donations in Colorado were up on Monday, the day after the massacre in Las Vegas.

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The images from the night of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas drew shock across the nation, but few places in America are as familiar with mass casualty events like Colorado.

Blood has a shelf life, so it is important that donations are given on an ongoing basis.

Miller-Keystone said it hasn't seen two-hour lines for blood donations since September 11, and many of its regular donors gave recently to help fill the need created by the hurricanes.

You can still help if you are in another part of the country; your blood might not make it all the way to Las Vegas, but it can go to a hospital near you, freeing up supplies somewhere else.

You can donate one pint of blood every eight weeks, and no appointment is necessary. By comparison, last Monday 371 people registered to donate.

"So we want to have a supply of blood here in our own area in case we need to ship blood, we would have enough for our own area and for shipping".

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