Blood drive hosted by 3TV, United Blood Services

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- Summer months and holidays are the most challenging times of the year to maintain an adequate blood supply. While donations decline, blood usage often increases due to accidents caused by heavy road traffic and summer activities. Every day, even during the holiday weekends, 700 donors are needed to meet the needs of Arizona's hospital patients. Today, it takes eight donors just to fulfill the state's blood needs for 15 minutes.

Blood Drive

Valley residents line up for Save Our Summer Blood Drive - Summer months and holidays are the most challenging times of the year to maintain an adequate blood supply. While donations decline, blood usage often increases. azfamily.com's Kirsten Joyce tells us all about the Save Our Summer Blood Drive.

Related Blood Drive videos/links:
Search Video:

3TV has teamed up with United Blood Services for the Save our Summer Blood Drive at US Airways Center. The event runs until 3 p.m. The program kicked off at 9 a.m. 3TV photographer Gibby Parra was at the front of the line Friday morning.

The whole process takes less than an hour.

"I have to emphasis, the donation part of that is only about five to seven minutes," said Sue Thew of United Blood Services. "The rest of the time, you're getting a free mini physical. You're eating all the juice and cookies you can eat. It's a really great process."

United Blood Services needs all blood types, but it especially needs O negative -- the universal donor type. That blood is often used in emergency and trauma situations, as well as with premature babies.

Kellie Miner, 15, knows just how important blood donors are. Diagnosed with cancer five years ago, she relapsed in 2006. She had a bone-marrow transplant and owes her life to donors. She's had 131 transfusions.

"It's crazy to think about. I've received over five gallons of blood and platelets," she said, sharing her story with donors while thanks them for their time.

If you can't make it to today's event, there are other locations where you can donate blood any time.