The KLLL Country Christmas blood drive was a huge success. KLLL radio and united blood services had hoped to get just one more pint this year than last year. That was a tall order; last year's drive collected 1 thousand 3 hundred 64 pints. Instead of getting one more pint, south plains donors gave almost 200 more than last year. The drive brought the total to 1,564 units of blood. UBS director, Les Long, says that is the best Christmas present on record for our local blood supply. Here's Les in his own words:
"UBS on behalf of the hospitals, and ultimately the patients who use the blood, we want to thank the community. We have a 42 day shelf life but in this area, we never return or throw away blood. We need the blood. Local hospitals use 110 to 150 pints a day. So, during the drive, we had to bring enough blood in to get through the drive and put back so we'd have enough through Christmas. The whole area of the south plains deserves a big pat on the back for the fact that today, newspapers in Oklahoma City are citing a blood shortage, in Dallas - a shortage there. But right here, the people here came out and made certain that we have blood. For the treatment in the hospitals, for preemies and for those who need blood products."
Les says with the increased holiday demand for blood, even the increased Christmas collection will probably be used up and gone in 3 weeks or less. So, it won't be long before the need is here again. But for now, all the folks at UBS want to thank their Christmas donors, and they say if you were a first time donor during this 9 day drive, they hope you realized it is easy to give, and that you'll want to be a blood donor again sometime.