SSM Health holds employee blood drive to help address shortage

MADISON, Wis. — SSM Health employees answered the call Friday to help respond to a critical shortage of blood donations at area hospitals.

The health care provider held an employees-only blood drive Friday.

It takes 3,600 blood donations per week to meet the needs of the 125 hospitals SSM Health serves. Over the last month, donation rates have dropped to about 2,500 per week.

Doug Soltys, the associate trauma medical director for SSM Health Madison, said that’s a concern because blood products are perishable and need to be used within a fairly short window of time.

“Having blood is extremely important for us as a system and especially within the trauma department with critically injured patients,” he said. “We find we need to transfuse a fair amount of blood for some people, so having the blood available to give to our patients is very important.”

SSM Health is holding additional blood drives at its hospitals in Janesville and Monroe in the coming weeks.