Sandia LabNews

Sandia and Los Alamos national labs face off to save lives

Competition proves every unit of blood counts

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EVERY PINT COUNTS — Sandia employee Andrew Harvey squeezes a cow toy to encourage blood flow during the blood drive in June. Sandians donated 145 pints of blood during the drive — a win for New Mexicans in need of blood. (Photo by Craig Fritz)

Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories faced off last month in a friendly battle to bring in the most blood donations to mark World Blood Day and help the community.

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(Video by Craig Fritz)

The competition was neck and neck — the winner decided by a unit of blood. Over two days in June, 124 Sandia employees donated 145 units of blood while 121 Los Alamos employees donated 146 units.

While Los Alamos won the friendly competition, the big winner is the community.

“Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory donors stepped up to this challenge and provided a tremendous amount of life-saving blood for our community. Vitalant greatly appreciates the overwhelming and ongoing support of our mission of saving lives through the gift of blood donation. Ultimately, the real winners are the hospital patients in New Mexico who will benefit from their generous gift,” said Heidi Chase and Drew Sharpless, Vitalant account managers for Los Alamos and Sandia.

The 291 units of blood donated at both labs potentially impacts 689 patients in New Mexico, according to Vitalant. Additionally, Los Alamos had 38 first-time donors, and Sandia had 32.

“We’re stronger together. When both labs come together for a common purpose, we’re able to make a significant impact," said Los Alamos Community Relations Specialist Kayla Norris.

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HELP FROM THE NORTH — Los Alamos National Laboratory employee Martin Ward smiles as he gives blood that will help New Mexicans in need. (Photo courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory)

While disappointed Sandia fell short by one unit, Community Involvement Manger Amy Tapia offered her congratulations to Los Alamos and praised all those who organized and took part in the event.

“Sandia and Los Alamos National Lab truly collaborated for our community during this fun competition. We are proud of our employees rising to the challenge to meet the critical need for blood donations,” she said. Amy offered a challenge to rematch next year, which Los Alamos staff happily accepted.

While the two labs put their efforts into overdrive in June, Sandia hosts regular blood drives that support the community. During twice-a-month blood drives in 2022, more than 1,000 Sandia employees donated 1,220 units of blood, an amount that could impact 2,360 lives. 

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