Nationwide blood services provider Vitalant sends its heartfelt condolences to the victims of the August 3 El Paso, TX shooting, their families, friends and the community at large. As the blood provider to El Paso hospitals, Vitalant immediately provided 367 units of blood products following the shooting. As partners of the local hospitals and communities we serve, we stand ready to support efforts in any way we can.

Within hours, the two local donations centers witnessed lines out the doors, signifying an outpouring of support for people wanting to donate blood from citizens of the community. As of closing last night, El Paso residents gave more than 300 donations and the Vitalant call center fielded over 1,000 calls. Across the country, still more people reached out to their local donation centers in solidarity with El Paso. At this time, Vitalant is able to meet the needs of hospital partners treating the shooting victims and is ready to supply additional blood products as they are requested.

“As a partner to all the communities we serve, we are tremendously grateful for the donors who showed up to donate blood in response to the El Paso shootings. It is together that we are conduits of impact,” said Vitalant President & CEO Dave Green. “Blood on the shelves ensures victims of trauma have the life-transforming blood supply they need and we urge people to make and keep appointments to give blood all year long.”

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Vitalant is part of a multi-state system of blood centers that works in tandem to move life-transforming donations throughout the system to help ensure blood is available when and where it’s needed most. Donors are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation appointment by calling 201-251-3703 or by visiting vitalant.org. Due to the overwhelming response, donors may experience wait times when scheduling appointments by phone.

Blood products have a limited shelf life — 42 days for red blood cells and just 5 days for platelets. The blood supply must be constantly replenished through the generosity of local communities. It takes 24 to 36 hours to collect, test, process and distribute blood where it’s needed.Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.