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Vitalant is bracing for a national shortfall of nearly 8,500 blood donations the week of July 1, the organization announced in a press release. In an effort to bolster local and national blood supplies and be prepared for unexpected events, Vitalant is calling on the community to donate blood now and throughout the remainder of the summer.

Locally, Vitalant requires at least 150 donors each day to meet the needs of more than 30 hospitals across Montana and northern Wyoming. Vitalant is the sole blood provider to those hospitals and their patients.

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Donations from O-negative donors, the universal blood type, are especially important this time of year because of increased accidents and trauma cases. The current O-negative blood supply sits at an approximate two-day supply, which is half of the ideal quantity needed to support patient needs. Additionally, platelet donations, which have a shelf-life of only five days, are always in high demand. However, donors of all types are needed.

To schedule a donation, call 877-258-4825 or go to vitalant.org. Walk-ins are also welcome at all Vitalant locations.

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