According to the National Weather Service, up to 15 inches of rain has fallen in the past 48 hours in many areas of the Rio Grande Valley. This extreme weather event has impacted United Blood Services’ ability to collect blood donations during a time when blood donations are already on a decline.

United Blood Services is the primary blood collection center and blood provider in Rio Grande Valley region. Due to the catastrophic flooding, all mobile drives have cancelled for two consecutive days and many of our staff has been unable to report to work safely.

“Thus far, UBS has potentially missed the opportunity to collect blood donations from as many as 263 donors,” explained United Blood Services Regional Director Frank Esparza, “Expecting that we won’t fully recover through the weekend we could potentially experience a loss of an additional 253 donations. This is especially concerning as we approach the Fourth of July holiday—a time when donations decline dramatically due to vacations and travel.”

We are requesting that our dedicated donors in other areas to step up to help out with this urgent situation to ensure we keep up with the needs of the patients in the Rio Grande Valley and across the country. We also ask our local residents who can safely get to a United Blood Services center come in and make a lifesaving donation.

Blood products have a limited shelf life—42 days for red blood cells and just 5 days for platelets and must therefore be constantly replenished. Please call 877-UBS-HERO (877-827-4376) or visit bloodhero.com to learn more or schedule an appointment.

United Blood Services, a Blood Systems blood center, is part of a multi-state system of blood centers. This network works in tandem moving lifesaving donations throughout the system to help ensure blood is available when and where it’s needed most. Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.