Geisinger Medical Center uses 25,000 units per blood a year. That's about 70 units a day, and it's one of the reasons Geisinger has set up its own blood center, to collect exactly what it needs.
Health officials say in general, the need for blood is even greater in the summer months, and over the holidays. Geisinger Medical Center no longer relies on outside sources to gather the blood it needs for its hospital system. It has partnered with a company to create its own called the Geisinger Blood Center.
"They wanted to have access to their own blood supply, so it was available when they needed it," said director Mike Quint.
Open since last July, Quint calls the blood center "one of a kind," a sort-of testing ground for other large hospital systems.
"It's almost like a stepping stone to see how successful it can be for hospitals to get their own blood," said Quint.
He gave us a tour of the facility on Enterprise Way in an industrial park in the Pittston area. He says they hold two blood drives per day in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. Each day when blood comes in, it is first tested, then broken down into its three components: plasma, red cells, and platelets. Quint says all of the blood here is used for people who need it here.
"Every unit of blood that's donated in this community supports life in this community. We don't send blood outside Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania."
If you'd like to find out where there's a drive nearest you, you can find that information at http://www.geisingerbloodcenter.org.