BILLINGS — Summer is the slow season for blood donations, so donation centers are struggling to not only keep up with demand, but also stock up on blood that can be kept for up to 42 days.
“Summer is actually a time that we struggle with blood donations and that’s because people are traveling again, people are out of school, and blood donations aren’t at the top of their mind,” says Brooke Way, the communications manager for Vitalant, the Billings area's largest blood bank.
For a time, doctors were using convalescent plasma donations as a way to try and treat COVID-19. Demand is not as high as it was then, but Way says there is one factor that could have a large impact on demand: “The one thing that we are seeing now as things slowly open back up is that those elective surgeries are happening again, and surgeons need blood for those."
Vitalant is offering gift cards and hats, while Red Cross is offering raffle tickets for big prizes as incentives for people to donate.
For more information on how to donate visit Vitalant's website.