Press release from The Blood Connection:
The local blood supply is critically low after months of historically low blood donor turnout. The Blood Connection relies on community blood donors to prevent a blood emergency like a shortage. Although TBC is responsible for keeping the blood supply stable, it cannot replicate blood; it must be donated. In times like these, an urgent plea to the public is the only way to improve the sharp decrease in donations.
- In the past few days, hospital partners are reporting they are using blood at a much higher rate than normal. When demand is high, and the supply is critically low – that is a dangerous equation for the community.
- Because of the critically low supply, The Blood Connection (TBC) is now having to back-order blood products. This has affected 12 hospital partners so far.
- 48% of days this month, TBC did not collect enough blood to cover hospitals’ needs. For comparison, in May of 2020 (during the pandemic) TBC collected enough to cover those needs 84% of the days.
- There is a high likelihood that TBC will have to start rationing blood by the end of the weekend.
- Heading into a holiday weekend, hospitals are stocking up their blood supply. TBC has already not been able to provide those products.
- The community is the only solution to this dangerous problem. The blood supply for local hospitals is in the community’s hands.
Unexpected traumas, unprecedented events like the gas shortage, and long-term effects of COVID-19 are exacerbating the issue. Surprisingly, the blood supply is in an even more unstable position than it was at the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, there is usually a dip in donations during the Memorial Day weekend – this year, that dip could trigger a blood shortage. In recognition of Memorial Day, TBC is donating $5 to a local veteran’s organization for every blood donor who gives at a TBC center Friday-Monday, May 28-31, in addition to the donor gift.
Those willing to donate blood are urged to immediately schedule an appointment or locate a convenient donation opportunity in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. While it is not mandatory in order to donate blood, those who have received any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines can donate blood immediately.
The community must respond to this plea or a blood rationing event will take place. Blood saves lives. The community is putting their neighbors at risk by not supporting their community blood center during this time.