As on Monday morning, a mass shooting during a country music festival in Las Vegas has left at least 50 people dead and more than 200 injured. The shooting, which occurred during country music singer Jason Aldean’s performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, has been labeled deadliest mass shooting in United States history. The death toll is unfortunately expected to climb.
Alleged shooter Stephen Paddock, 64, reportedly opened fire on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32 floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel just after 10 p.m. local time. Paddock was eventually killed, according to reports.
In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, many injured survivors are fighting for their lives in neighboring hospitals. During this time, blood donations are essential in caring for survivors injured in this mass attack.
If you are in the Las Vegas area, there are several ways you can donate blood to survivors in need. Here's a list of American Red Cross blood drives in the direct area code of the attacks. To search neighboring area codes, visit here.
Below is the information for a blood donation facility near the attack site.
There are several locations throughout Nevada that are accepting blood donations, too. During mass tragedies, hospitals caring for survivors often ask for blood from neighboring counties if they are in short supply. This means your donation could still make it to a survivor in need, even if you are miles away.
Even if you aren't in the impacted region, sharing this rundown of blood donation facilities on social media could help reach those trying to find a location to donate blood.
Though donating blood is a vital way to help during a tragedy, massive crowds often turn out to give in the aftermath. Often, facilities cannot accommodate all of these willing donors, meaning people sometimes get turned away from blood donation.
If this happens to you, don't feel like you didn't do your part, and don't feel like your role has been stunted. Check back in with facilities in the following days once urgency has calmed to see if more donations are needed. This is especially true if you have a universal blood type. Not only will this possibility help shooting survivors still in need, but it could also help replenish the blood supply for those in need from unrelated injuries and hospitalizations after the attack.
Of course, there are several groups who cannot donate blood no matter the need. Men who have sex with men are still impacted by a one-year blood ban if they've has sexual contact with another man, while people who are "underweight" or have certain medical conditions are unable to give. If you fall into these categories, seek out other ways to give your time instead of your blood.
Blood donation facilities may need volunteers to help staff locations filled with more donors than normal. See if your time could be of service to a nearby location. You could even offer car rides to donation centers to those who may have a hard time reaching a facility, or offer snacks and water to those waiting in long lines. Get creative in order to give back.
If that isn't a possibility, encourage those around you to go out and donate on your behalf. Use your voice to share why you wish you could donate, and ask if a friend or family member would give for you. It's a simple way to get blood in the donation supply while also having your experience heard.
If you aren't in the immediate Las Vegas area, there are still ways you can help blood donation efforts in the impacted region. Some blood donation organizations, like the American Red Cross, rely on monetary donations to fund their operations. To donate to Red Cross relief efforts in Southern Nevada, visit here.
Here are some other ways you can help the victims in Las Vegas.