Blood shortage at donation centers following holidays

Local

January is National Blood Donor Month, so the time is now to donate blood and save a life.

After the holidays, much of the nation’s blood supply has been affected.

“People are getting together with family, they’re not donating as much, and there’s a lot of elective surgeries that occur in December,” explained Paul Adams, the public relations manager at The Blood Center. “So, come January, the blood supply is severely depleted.”

Last week, about 600 units of blood were collected from The Blood Center’s six donation centers.

Before the pandemic, 12 donation centers were open, and 1200 units were being collected.

“One-day supply means that’s all we have,” said Adams. “So, if there is an event that occurs that there’s a major need for blood, or if a surgery goes bad or something like that… We need people to come out and donate today because of that.”

For some who have donated, they believe they were called to help someone in need.

“I saw a billboard on I-10 one day that was asking for donors for plasma and platelets for people who have had COVID who have the antibodies, and I’ve had COVID, and I have the antibodies, so I’m donating,” shared George Byrne who donated plasma and platelets.

For others, their reason is simple.

“Because it makes me feel better,” said Gwendolyn Englade, who donated blood and platelets. “[It] makes me feel like I’m doing something good.”

To donate, you must be 17 years old or 16 with a parent or guardian’s consent.

You can schedule an appointment by visiting www.thebloodcenter.org/

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