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Hundreds Donate Blood In North Dakota

By Tracy Fugere

Fargo, ND – Over 400 people donated blood Tuesday at the United Blood Service Centersin Bismarck, Minot, and Fargo.

Daryl Stensgaard is the Regional Vice President of United Blood Services in Fargo. He says the need for blood donations to help with the emergencies in New York City and Washington D.C. will be on-going as victims need surgeries over the next few days and weeks.

Stensgaard says the New York Blood Center needs O-negative, A-negative, and B-negative.

"We can't say the blood is directly going to New York. We've been in touch with New York and offered our assistance depending on what they need. We don't want to be sending them blood that they may not need or use. So we've worked directly with New York and I've also been in touch with some other national coordination organizations to be sure that if they need anything we'll be able to assist them as appropriate."

Stensgaard says it will be necessary for people to donate blood next week and even further into the future.

"The response is overwhelming and we do have a lot of people who do want to come in and do something right now. We are encouraging people to call us for an appointment if at all possible. In fact, we're scheduling appointments into next week and even further. And that's really important. As much as we understand the need for and the interest for people to come in and do something right now, it's just as important that we appropriately manage the blood supply ? both for this area and nationally. And so we know that the blood needs on the East Coast will be on-going, people who were initially treated and stabilized will need on-going surgeries, as they find survivors, those folks will need immediate treatment and on-going treatment with surgeries and other blood needs as well."

The Fargo United Blood Service Center has a full waiting room Wednesday. Stensgaard says they are already booking appointments into next week.

Carolyn Grinager came from Wahpeton to donate blood.

"Now with the national emergency I know there is a need and living in Wahpeton, North Dakota, what can I do to help, maybe I can help by giving blood."

Daryl Stensgaard says donors can make an appointment in Fargo by calling 293-9453. He says the center in Fargo will be open until 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.