Medline hosts blood drives throughout the country

Medline hosts blood drives throughout the country

By Medline Newsroom Staff | January 16, 2024

Environmental, Social & Governance

Medline hosts blood drives throughout the country

More than 250 Medline volunteers gave back by giving blood in 2023

Medline's Armando Vasquez and Diana Lara at the Laredo, Texas blood drive

Blood donations typically decline during the winter season when holidays, bad weather and bad colds keep people home. This is on top of an overall dip in blood donations. The Red Cross has reported that the number of people donating blood has fallen by about 40% over the past 20 years. To inspire more donations, the U.S. has declared January as National Blood Donor Month.

Medline volunteers got a head start on that timing, hosting 18 blood drives at nine U.S. branches throughout 2023 that benefitted three nonprofit organizations: Vitalant, the American Red Cross, and the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute, each donation can help save up to three lives, meaning Medline volunteers helped save up to 750 lives. Nearly a dozen more blood drives are already scheduled at Medline branches in the coming months.

Medline’s Montgomery, New York, branch, held its blood drive the week before Christmas, despite the holiday rush. “Honestly, I think it’s one of the best times to hold a blood drive; it’s the giving season,” said Medline HR Manager Jennifer Perez, who organized the Montgomery branch’s drive for the second year in a row. “It’s the best gift you’re going to give; it’s the gift of life. And it’s free.”

“It’s the best gift you’re going to give; it’s the gift of life. And it’s free.”

Jennifer Perez

Medline Human Resources Manager
Montgomery, New York

Perez said they tallied 31 total donations, with several people donating for the first time, including a department manager and a number of employees who Perez and her team recruited as walk-ins during the day of the blood drive. Three employees were deemed double red cell donors. The Vitalant website calls them “Power Reds,” described as, “like giving two blood donations in one appointment.”

Why Medline volunteers give blood

“Every two seconds someone in the United States is in need of a blood transfusion,” said Vitalant Regional Director Martine Williams. “Vitalant alone needs to collect 5,000 units of blood each day just to meet the demand for the 900 hospitals in our network.”

“One in seven patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion,” added American Red Cross Account Manager Melissa Jones. “Blood transfusions are one of the most common hospital procedures in the U.S., yet only 3 percent of the public gives blood. Unlike other treatments, blood cannot be stockpiled or manufactured. It can only come from volunteer blood donors.”


Medline-sponsored blood drives nationwide

Up to 750

lives saved through blood donations

Blood drives at community centers, religious institutions and corporate locations like those held at Medline are essential to help maintain a safe, healthy blood supply. “Medline has had a longtime commitment to our organization, and the amount of lives saved has probably been more than 10,000,” Williams said. “So imagine if Medline didn’t do this.”

Williams also pointed out the practical benefit of an organized group blood drive: “It helps us to plan out our inventory levels to know what we’re going to have on hand. We need to make sure that we’re prepared, and that the units are tested and typed and at the hospital ready for procedures.”

Many people are motivated to give blood after a natural disaster or tragic situation. However, Williams noted, “The blood that they’re donating that day is not saving those folks; it’s the blood that was donated days prior.”

In fact, blood donations are constantly needed for surgical procedures, emergencies, patients getting chemotherapy and people with ongoing health challenges, such as those with sickle cell disease who depend on the community for that blood to be available every month.

Kavita Idnani-Ramos, Medline Human Resources Manager, Laredo, Texas

Kavita Idnani-Ramos, human resources manager at Medline’s manufacturing facility in Laredo, Texas, donating blood in March

It’s difficult to keep up with the ongoing need for blood donations due to a number of challenges. “It’s often a lack of education and fear,” Williams said. In addition, some former blood donors are now aging into being the blood recipients themselves. Williams said the key to boosting donor response is increasing education and decreasing fear. “The blood donor process is safe, it’s sterile” and, she said, “It makes you feel good.”

“Blood is critical to patient care, but a lot of times we don’t really think about that until it actually hits home,” Williams said. That’s why blood drives are critical.

“Donating blood at work can have several benefits,” Jones said. “Convenience, because it saves time; and community engagement, because it provides a sense of unity and community within your workplace.” She urged people to “Resolve to give in 2024.”

“Every two seconds someone in the United States is in need of a blood transfusion.”

Martine Williams

Vitalant Regional Director

Perez said she was motivated to keep giving. “I’m really a fan of giving blood, and I’ll be doing it every year going forward.”

6 things to know about blood donation, according to Vitalant:

  1. Every blood donation can save three lives
  2. It takes just 30 minutes
  3. Whole blood can be donated every eight weeks
  4. Platelets can be donated every week
  5. Eating a healthy meal and drinking water before donation helps make the process easier
  6. Before donating blood, you’ll get a free health screening

Learn more about how Medline is helping people reach their full health potential.

Categories: Social Responsibility

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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