Blood donations needed as reserves run ‘alarmingly low’

As we enter into a busy time of the year, more blood donors are needed.

Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) says it is dealing with a blood emergency, as it has only a two- to three-day general blood supply. Certain types, including O and platelets, are at just a one- to two-day supply. MBC says the ideal inventory is a five- to seven-day supply.

“We are coming into a traditionally challenging time of year for blood donations with spring break and pre-summer activities preempting a regular appointment schedule. Normally we would head into the season with a strong blood supply, but we approach it now with alarmingly low reserves,” Kathy Geist, the senior executive director of Memorial Blood Centers, said in a statement. “We do want people to set appointments for this week, and also schedule repeatedly throughout the summer and into the fall to replenish the reserves to help meet the needs of the community.”

The shortage comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Memorial Blood Centers says it’s working to increase staff to meet the needs of the community. Part of that effort is offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus for new phlebotomists.

Blood shortages have become common during the pandemic, with donors constantly in need. Earlier this year, the American Red Cross declared its worst blood shortage in more than a decade.

One donation can save up to three lives, according to MBC, and roughly one in seven people admitted to a hospital needs a blood transfusion.

Donors can make an appointment by calling 1-888-448-3253 or booking online.

For the Red Cross, call 1-800-733-2767 or visit online.