Lack of Blood Drives, Staff Causing Severe Blood Shortage
Memorial Blood Centers officials are sounding the alarm. They say the blood supply is significantly low.
“It is dangerously low, not only locally, but it’s a national problem,” said Phil Losacker, Community Relations Manager for Memorial Blood Centers.
He says the blood centers like to keep about 5 to 7 days’ worth of blood on hand. But the supply is currently under that.
“It’s becoming a chronic problem. We do not have enough blood to make us feel secure or our hospitals to fill secure in the amount of blood that’s on hand.”
Memorial Blood Centers can’t hold community blood drives as often as they usually do because of the pandemic. In the past, they collected about 50 percent of blood donations through community blood drives.
On top of that, the organization is also dealing with staffing shortages, with many people out with COVID-19.
“We have six donor centers that we’re trying to keep open and expand hours so we can accommodate as many donors as possible, and staffing those has been a challenge,” explained Losacker.
Because of those shortages, Memorial Blood Centers now asks donors to make an appointment, not just walk-in. It’s an appointment that could make all the difference to someone that needs blood.
“We can use both new donors and people who have not tried donating before and for individuals who have donated to remind them to come in again,” said Losacker.
Video note: This video was previously recorded, before the pandemic. Masks are now required in all Memorial Blood Center locations. See the story here.