Mayo Clinic Blood Center releases plea for O- blood: RPD puts on an internal blood drive the same day

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 6:38 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The national blood shortage continues to impact hospitals and families across the U.S. Monday, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester sent out a plea, urging people with O- blood types to donate as soon as possible.

According to Mayo, O- is the universal blood type, meaning, in an emergency, it can be given to anyone safely in order to save their life.

“It’s not just for tragedies or traumas. We use blood product in everyday patient care,” said Mayo Blood Donor Center Marketing Coordinator Stacie Hammer.

The shortage comes from various things stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People at the beginning of the pandemic weren’t going out, they weren’t going out and donating,” said Hammer.

Elective surgeries were also canceled for a while.

Doing its part to help support the community is the Rochester Police Department (RPD), putting on a blood drive the same day the plea was sent out by Mayo.

“I had helped arranged this through Mayo Clinic and RPD,” said Sgt. Chad Blanchette. “It’s pretty near and dear to my heart.”

Back in October of 2015, Sgt. Blanchette’s son was diagnosed with Leukemia.

“My son received numerous blood products and also ended up getting a bone marrow transplant,” said Blanchette.

That life-saving bone marrow transplant was exactly five years ago on Monday. Sgt. Blanchette says his family refers to this as his son’s “re-birthday”.

“It’s blood drives like this, it’s through the American Red Cross or wherever folks can give blood. The blood product is staying in this community and it’s for our community members,” said Blanchette.

“So you’re helping families like the Blanchette’s. It only takes about an hour and you’re saving three lives,” said Hammer.

RPD has already scheduled another blood drive in June to kick off the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program and its Battle of the Badges blood donation challenge for first responders.

For more information on how to donate you can go to this website.

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