Las Vegas massacre underscores constant need for blood donations

MGN PHOTO: Blood sample being drawn, Photo Date: Oct 8, 2015
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- In the United States, someone needs blood every two seconds. In the wake of a tragedy Sunday night's shooting in Las Vegas, that need skyrockets.

According to the American Red Cross, the average trauma patient could need up to 100 pints of blood during their initial treatment. The average donation is about one pint of blood. With more than 500 people hurt in Las Vegas in just one night, that need continues to multiply.

Wendy Savage, executive director of the north central Wisconsin chapter of the Red Cross said the national organization sent 250 units of blood to Las Vegas. She said there is no way to stockpile for this type of massacre because blood expires after 42 days, which is why they need people to donate regularly.

"Whole blood is not used very often, not as often as the components, so you could save three lives with one donation. Now, I don't know where else you could get that experience," she urged.

She said there is no replacement for human blood, meaning using pig blood or a synthetic version is not currently possible. She added because every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, your donation never goes to waste.

Savage encourages people to continue to donate as victims recover and, of course, help with the typical daily needs for blood. Those with type O negative blood (the universal donor blood type) are especially encouraged to donate.