Vitalant at Fair Oaks Temporarily Closed Beginning February 14Feb 01, 2023 12:00AM ● By Story and photos by Thomas J. Sullivan
Lorraine Schlak, RN, BSN, supervisor of the Vitalant Fair Oaks blood donation center.
FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - The Vitalant blood donation center at 11713 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Fair Oaks near the corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Madison Avenue in the Almond Plaza will temporarily close for at least eight weeks starting on, or about February 14 as necessary repairs to a deteriorating concrete floor and other general interior improvements are made.
“Until that upcoming closing date, it’s business as usual,” said Lorraine Schlak, RN, BSN, supervisor of the Fair Oaks blood donation center. Schlak has worked for Vitalant for over 26 years, and truly loves her work.
“There continues to be an urgent need for both blood and blood plasma. We want the public to know during our temporary closure, that their donations are welcomed and encouraged at all of our nearby Vitalant facilities,” said Schlak.
This is the first significant closure for Vitalant since it moved to the Fair Oaks location 12 years ago. The closure affects 12 medical donation staff members who will be reassigned to other local Vitalant centers while equipment and office furnishings are placed in temporary storage.
Two full-time technicians will work from the Vitalant Granite Bay location on Saturday and Sunday, days in which that location would normally be closed. The Granite Bay donation is located at 8425 Sierra College Boulevard.
The Fair Oaks center has 15 donation stations, that on average, receive 600 whole blood donations per month. Each whole blood donation takes about 45 minutes to complete from intake interview screening to post-donation patient recovery where volunteers serve snacks and refreshments.
The average time to complete a plasma donation is longer, she said. “We typically receive 24 plasma donations per day, or up to 120 each month,” she said.
“We will be reaching out through social media, email and phone calls to our regular donors and many volunteers about the upcoming closure in the weeks ahead.”
“We’re especially grateful to our many regular volunteers who actively support our center. and speaking of our long-time donors, we don’t want to lose any of them,” she said. “They are much too important to us, and we count on them.”
After February 14, telephone calls to Vitalant (877) 258-4825 will refer all blood or plasma donation appointments to other nearby facilities including 3099 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Sacramento, 150 Natoma Station in Folsom and 8425 Sierra College Boulevard in Granite Bay.
Vitalant remained open during the pandemic with protocols in place as it accepted donations. A lobby waiting area has re-opened, post donation snacks are being served and masks are no longer required but encouraged.
Prospective donors should visit: www.vitalant.org/Donate/Health-History-Questionnaire to view basic donation requirements. Appointment pre-registration and screening is encouraged, said Schlak.
Founded in 1943, Vitalant is one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit transfusion medicine organizations, comprising a network of about 120 community blood centers. In all, Vitalant provides lifesaving blood and comprehensive transfusion medicine services for about 900 hospitals and their patients across the U.S.
According to Vitalant, every day in the U.S., patients in hospitals, surgical centers and emergency treatment facilities need approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells, 5,000 units of platelets and 6,500 units of plasma.
All healthy donors are urged to donate now, she said. “If you’ve had COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for 10 days, you are eligible to donate,” she said. “Whatever your COVID-19 vaccination status, you are absolutely allowed to give blood or platelets.”