BLOODMOBILES SAVE LIVES
For more than 70 years, the American Red Cross has delivered on our mission, fulfilling the American people’s need for the safest, most reliable, and cost-effective blood services through voluntary donations. Continuing this long and successful legacy, the Red Cross provides 90% of blood supplied to the more than 40 hospitals in New Hampshire and Vermont.
To meet local and regional blood supply needs, the Red Cross in Vermont collects over 30,000 units of blood annually. This is possible because volunteer donors generously give at one of the more than 1,200 blood drives held each year. Every two seconds someone in our country needs blood—our donors are vital, our staff and volunteers are vital, our laboratory testing is vital, and our bloodmobile is vital to the collection, transportation and delivery of blood and blood products throughout our region. In Vermont, we face a challenging landscape, rural in scope and we need to meet our donors where they are. We strive to make donating blood as convenient as possible by bringing donation opportunities directly to these generous volunteer donors, often via our bloodmobile vehicle. These vehicles can go virtually anywhere to collect blood for people in need, helping transform ordinary people into lifesaving heroes.
VERMONT’S AGING AND COSTLY BLOODMOBILE
Patients in our local hospitals and cancer treatment centers depend on the Red Cross to deliver blood and blood products when and where they are needed. Similarly, the Red Cross relies on the steadfast service of our bloodmobiles to fulfill our mission. About 84% of all blood donations are made at mobile or organization-hosted blood drives, making bloodmobiles and other vehicles vital to our collection efforts. In our communities, mechanical failures on our bloodmobiles cause blood drives to be cancelled—preventing us from collecting blood and potentially putting patients at risk. The Red Cross is fully committed to fulfilling our promise to provide blood and blood products where and when they are needed, and we are on a mission to replace these vital community assets with the most efficient model.
The average useful life of a Bloodmobile is 10 years. Vermont’s is almost 18 years old, which makes it more expensive to operate, and causes it to be off the road due to additional maintenance needed. As such, the organization is forced to cancel blood drives, fall short of our blood drive goals, and ultimately collect less blood which strains our resources to supply our community hospitals. Our current vehicle, the only one like it in the entire state, has already exceeded its expected useful life.
In Vermont, the bloodmobile has a higher than average utilization rate, and the state consistently ranks in the top 10 for most effective use of a bloodmobile within the organization. Vermont’s rural geography makes it difficult or impractical for many donors to get to our fixed blood collection site in Burlington. The bloodmobile helps donors give more regularly by reducing the need to travel. It provides an opportunity for many small businesses without adequate facilities to host a blood drive for their employees and customers at their location. Most importantly, the bloodmobile offers a way to meet people when and where they are to collect blood donations.
Please consider donating and sharing! Any size gift will bring us closer to having a new and reliable bloodmobile on Vermont's roads collecting life-saving blood.