RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — One hundred and seventy five pints of blood are needed everyday in the Valley, that's according to United Blood Services, the only blood bank in the Valley, Na'Tassia Finley has more on why more donors are needed this time of the year.
Crystal Olvera, United Blood Services, "Right now we are in a difficult month for us, that is actually why it's called National Blood Donor Month."
The blood supply in the Valley is on the low end, Crystal Olvera, "We struggle a lot during the winter and the holidays."
More people are traveling, more people become sick, so less donations are made. Statistics show that nationwide, only five percent of the eligible population donates blood, that percentage is even less here in the Valley at only 2 percent.
Regular donors such as Israel, "Last year I gave 20 times, this year my goal is to hit 24." Israel's best gift are his platelets, "Basically, they use my platelets for is for infants."
Officials say one blood donation has the ability to save three lives. Red cells are used for surgery, platelets are used for cancer patients and plasma is used for burn patients.
Crystal Olvera, "We are depending on people to come in and help us out, out of the goodness of their hearts. Just so they can realize what they are doing is actually saving lives."
Not only are the regulars, literally life savers, but the occasional walk-ins also have a huge impact on the supply, Ruth Longoria, "Today I was driving by and just thought, why not do something to help somebody else, why not just stop on by."
Olvera says the blood donated here in the Valley stays in the Valley and United Blood Services provides blood to all eighteen hospitals in the Valley.