Local and national need for blood donations

POSTED: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 3:37pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 3:40pm

Blood supplies are notoriously low during the summer, but this year there is a much greater shortage.

"We're always in a catch up mode, but we've really been in a catch up mode this year," Dr. Walter Linz, Medical Director of Scott and White Blood Center said.

For a level one trauma hospital like Scott and White in Temple, on average they could use 60 units of blood per day.

"One trauma could come in and use, 40, 50, 60 on their own," Dr. Linz said.

One unit, means one donation, and right now the S&W Blood Center is down nearly 100 units, particularly for type A, AB and O.

"By tomorrow we'll need blood again, and the day after we'll need blood again."

While it's effecting locals, it's also a national problem, especially for the American Red Cross which has a national blood bank that takes 17,000 donations a day to keep full.

"In June we were 50,000 units short in our blood supply, which is definitely critical for the 3,000 hospitals across the country that depend on that blood," Sara Kennedy, spokesperson for the American Red Cross of Central Texas said.

"To help out the nation, the more we can collect, the less we have to ask them to send to us, the more it allows them to distribute blood to other places as well," Dr. Linz said.

"We're all one accident away, from being the person who needs that blood," Kennedy said.

If you can't make it to the hospital, mobile blood donation vans are out daily for convenience. Visit www.sw.org/blood-center/events

To learn if you qualify to roll up your sleeve, you can also visit www.redcrossblood.org

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