EL PASO, Texas -- Smaller blood drives in El Paso are helping blood banks meet the needs of hospitals as blood donations drop during the coronavirus pandemic.
Vitalant is the main blood bank in this region that supplies blood to 18 hospitals in El Paso and Las Cruces. The pandemic has caused many of their blood drives to be cancelled.
“The bulk of the blood collected nationwide comes from high schools," Thiago Silva, a recruiter for Vitalant, explained. "We do big blood drives at high schools, and as you know, nobody is going to high schools.”
Because of this drop off in blood drives, blood banks have relied on smaller drives, like the one that happened on Sunday at the World Mission Society Church of God in northeast El Paso.
The church hosted Vitalant and registered 30 people to come in and give their blood safely.
“Wanting to give them an opportunity to even be a hidden hero," Veronica Martinez, a church member, said. "To be able to help save people’s lives.”
Martinez also gave some of her own blood and asked that the community do the same. She understands the importance of making sure hospitals have enough blood. She has family members who have relied on donations.
“I know how even one pint of blood can even save someone’s life. So I want to be part of that as well," Martinez said.