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The United Blood Services blood center in Las Vegas has provided nearly 200 units of blood and blood products so far to area hospitals treating victims of the recent shooting.

At this time, the Las Vegas operations of United Blood Services have been able to provide the lifesaving blood needed by hospitals treating these victims. Already, the local Las Vegas community and communities across the country are coming forward in solidarity to support and honor those impacted by this senseless shooting.

United Blood Services stands ready to send blood to Las Vegas if needed. As part of the Blood Systems Blood Services division, UBS is included in a multi-state system of blood centers. This network works in tandem, moving lifesaving donations throughout the system to help ensure blood is available when and where it’s needed most.

“In any situation where blood transfusions are needed, it’s the blood already on the shelf that saves lives,” said James Dugger, division president for UBS. “We understand that people want to come forward now to show their support; however, to effectively manage the blood supply for patients, we are asking donors to make appointments to give blood throughout the coming days and weeks.”

While O-negative, O-positive and platelet donations are most needed whenever tragedy strikes, UBS urges both existing and first-time donors of all blood types to visit bloodhero.com or call 575-840-8178 to schedule an appointment at one of its donor centers or at a mobile blood drive.

Blood has a shelf life, so it is important that donations are given on an ongoing basis. It can take 24 to 36 hours to collect, test, process and distribute blood where it’s needed.

Individuals who are as young as 16 (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.

Artesia’s upcoming blood drives will be held from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at J&J Homecare Inc. and from 2-5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Senior Center. Visit bloodhero.com or call 575-840-8178 for an appointment.