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Blood Banks seeking blood donors amid potential shortage

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The Blood Connection held a blood drive at the Greenville Convention Center on Thursday.

The organization says they have noticed a significant decrease in the amount of donors within the past year. “We had a great community response through the pandemic it’s just right now we’re unclear of what’s going on,” said The Blood Connection’s Ellen Kirtner.

Over the course of the last month, their data shows that in the month of June 48% of days in the month, the donation center did not collect enough blood to cover hospitals’ needs. For comparison, in May of 2020 during the pandemic The Blood Connection (TBC) collected enough to cover those needs 84% of the days.

Health experts like Mallory Kennedy, the laboratory manager at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern, explained that with patients beginning to reschedule surgeries and procedures now that hospitals aren’t as crowded, the need for blood is going to quickly become more prevalent.

“A lot of the blood that we transfuse are in those surgical type cases and we also have our cancer center on site and a lot of those patients routinely get bloods units as well. There a lot of different situations where people need blood. Trauma, motor vehicle accident. Summer time has a lot of car accidents. We also have patients who have open hear procedures who may require units of blood,” said Kennedy.

Representatives for the group went on to express that if donations don’t increase soon, they may have to start rationing their blood supply, the low donations are already having affected 12 of their hospital partners.

“We can’t manufacture blood. It can’t be replicated in the lab or anything; so the community is the only answer we need donors to fix this,” stressed Kirtner.

Appointments can be scheduled on TBC’s website. You can also check their website to see locations where The Blood Connection will host mobile blood drives.

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