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WHS hosts successful blood drive

by JOSH MCDONALD
Staff Reporter | November 5, 2021 7:00 AM

WALLACE — Students at Wallace Jr./Sr. High School went above and beyond this week to support an important and often forgotten about cause.

According to Audrey Hermann, the North Idaho and Montana Territory manager for Vitalant, when they came to Wallace on Tuesday they were expecting to grab just a handful of donations, but they ended up leaving with more than they anticipated.

“The drive went great,” Hermann said. “We had set a goal to bring back 16 units for our hospitals and we ended up bringing back 21.”

Twenty-one units is a lot of blood, and can potentially be used to save more than 60 lives depending on its use.

As the sole supplier of blood to more than 35 hospitals across the Inland Northwest, Vitalant relies on at least 200 donors each day to maintain a safe supply of blood for our region — which right now is trending in the wrong direction.

“We are still in a critical blood shortage, all blood types are needed right now,” Hermann said. “If it has been a while since you have donated, we encourage you to get back in the habit of helping our community by donating.”

The region that our local donations cover is incredibly vast and is defined as Spokane to Moses Lake, north to Bonners Ferry, east to the Montana border, and as far south as Grangeville.

While COVID-19 definitely affected the number of donors willing to get out, it didn’t change the need for blood — one in seven patients in a hospital require blood from a donor.

Whether it's a serious injury or surgery, childbirth, anemia, blood disorder, or even cancer treatments, blood transfusions are dependent upon the generosity of local donations.

Hermann was incredibly thankful to the students and staff at WHS for putting in the work and rallying their local community to get involved.

“This would not have been so successful without the help of Mr. Specht and the leadership students at Wallace High School,” Hermann said. “The students worked very hard to recruit and encourage their peers to come out and donate and it showed. We even had a few members from the community hop on the bus and roll up a sleeve. It was a great day for blood collecting and we look forward to working with the high school again.”

Founded in 1943, Vitalant is one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit transfusion medicine organizations and provides blood and special services to patients in more than 1,000 hospitals across 40 different states.

Vitalant will be hosting another local blood drive on Dec. 7, at noon at the Kellogg Elks.

To sign up for an upcoming drive, please visit vitalant.org or text 509-942-9596.

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