When Cities Request Blood Donations After MCIs

The Mayor of Las Vegas is asking for blood donations in the aftermath of the Oct. 2nd mass shooting of the Harvest 91 festival.
Image: Twitter Screenshot

The Las Vegas Mayor asked for blood donations following the October 1, 2017, mass shooting. But donations spike after tragedy, and can go to waste.

Editor’s Note: Updated October 2, 2018 to reflect on blood donations after MCIs and add resources.

LAS VEGAS — At least 58 were killed and 515 injured as of a 12 pm press briefing from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in the October 1st shooting by a gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino attacking people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Speaking live to press, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said:

As we look forward to continuing what our great city does, we offer a safe place, this is a crazed lunatic full of hate, but it’s certainly not an extension of what we believe in,” before asking that cities that are interested in helping should send blood.

Several mayors and governors have called today asking how their cities can help, and she said she asked for blood donations. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval repeated the request.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said victims are dispersed at five area hospitals. His office posted a local call for blood donations:

Blood Donations Can Go to Waste

Following last year’s Las Vegas shooting tragedy, cities from outside the region began sending blood, such as Panama City, Florida, according to WJHG.com. However, blood donations can overwhelm the ability for blood banks to store them and can go to waste.

According to Dennis Todd, chair of AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism, interviewed by Newsweek in the days after the tragedy, the supply on hand was actually enough to treat the victims.

It was the regular donors who had given in weeks prior that saved lives.

While some post-tragedy donation did replenish Las Vegas supplies, according to the story, a glut of blood donations from outside an incident area runs the risk of ultimately being wasted.

Blood Donation Resources

Blood donation often require review of health history, and Vitalant (formerly United Blood Services) provides access regionally to health history questionnaires on its website.

The American Red Cross online search tool directs donors to blood donation sites and provides access to eligibility and other information.

Search America’s Blood Centers website by zipcode to find more than 600 blood donation centers.

Family Assistance Center

Initially, Metro Police were hosting the family assistance center, but it moved to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of EfficientGov.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.